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.