Local and global experts have gathered to shed light on current hot topics related to the marine economy at the 2019 International Marine Economy Cooperation and Development Forum, which kicked off in the city Tuesday and concluded yesterday.
Panel discussions were arranged during the two-day forum, providing a platform for participants to explore topics such as ocean governance, the challenges facing the shipping industry, the future prospects of seawater desalination and the potential of deep seabed mining.
At a plenary meeting held yesterday, James Standerwick, CEO of Maritime London Ltd., said the ever-changing global trade environment, carbon emission reduction, the decrease in financing and digitalization are pressing issues that need to be tackled by the shipping industry.
Standerwick stressed that it is inspiring for the industry to embrace digitalization.
“Digitalization is the engine of future development. I hope companies and institutions can embrace digital technologies, which will improve their competitiveness and enable them to gain a foothold in the market in the next 10 to 20 years,” Standerwick said.
The desalination of seawater also evoked heated discussions among industry leaders and the audience at a panel discussion yesterday, in which a series of misunderstandings over desalination were clarified and innovation-driven practices were introduced.
Edo Bar-Zeev, senior lecturer from the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, mentioned that Israel has contributed many innovations in desalination and is willing to share its technologies and knowledge with the world.
He noted that the desalination of seawater has indeed brought many positive changes to our lives. However, the harmful impact of desalination on the marine ecosystems should not be ignored and scientists should work together to find more sustainable solutions.