Danish shipowner boss weighs into Med migrant crisis

Danish shipowner boss weighs into Med migrant crisis

Merchant ships should not be tasked with picking migrants out of the Mediterranean, the director-general of the Danish Shipowners’ Association said at a press conference this morning. That role should remain firmly with Operation Triton, the border security operation conducted by Frontex, the European Union’s border security agency, argued Anne Steffensen, who heads up the association.

“Shipowners should not be rewarded for picking up refugees,” Steffensen said, adding: “We are not part of the long term solution.”

She said she would prefer it if European politicians spent money on Operation Triton, not on shipowners.

“Triton is working and is taking some pressure off shipowners,” Steffensen said.

The global merchant fleet carried out 137 rescue operations in the Mediterranean in September alone. The Danish merchant fleet has picked up around 2,700 people from the Mediterranean so far this year.

The issue of migrants in the Mediterranean will be up for discussion at tomorrow’s Danish Maritime Forum.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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