This week is the annual celebration of America’s independence from England (some say they gave us away!). Independence is a core human value, which is treasured in many regions around the world.
Our industry also treasures its independence. While we operate under the global framework established by the IMO, and enforced by port and flag state control, we are still operating with the opportunity to act independently within those guidelines.
But independence comes with responsibility. Think of your childhood where parents slowly meted out the rope, expanding your ability to go out into the world. Remember, too, what happened when you missed a curfew, or didn’t fulfill an obligation? Grounding, loss of allowance, and other sanctions ensued, all in the name of “teaching a lesson”.
What are we, as an industry, willing to do to retain our independence? Are we willing to “play by the rules” and ensure that our operations are compliant with these global and local standards? Are we willing to do what it takes to retain our “social license to operate”? Yes, global society needs our services, but they are no longer willing to obtain those services at the cost of the environment and societal health.
Let’s celebrate our independence by doing the right thing to make our industry grow and prosper!