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TALKING of government, the UK Shipping Minister attended WISTA’s formal ceremony to honour Katharina Stanzel as WISTA’s global Personality of the Year at the IMO in January. We wrote about Kathi’s well-deserved award last month (see earlier Changing Course article) so for now here are some pics of the Award Ceremony showing Kathi with IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu and UK Shipping Minister Philip Hammond.

Speaking at the event, Philip Hammond, who was appointed in September 2012, said he intended to be an evangelist for the industry. He pledged that the Government will continue to support UK tonnage tax and the country’s role in maritime services. And, proof that he or someone in his department has read up something about shipping, he noted that piracy is still a major concern and that he will be examining the European Commission plan for 0.1% fuel sulphur content from 2015 on northern European short sea routes.

The most interesting part of his speech however, was a statistic! Mr Hammond noted that a mere five women qualified for deck certificates in 1998 but that in 2012 the number was fifty seven. Not a huge figure in itself, but a significant and welcome shift. Equally interesting would be to see how their careers progress and how long they stay in shipping.

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