Home » A Commemorative Voyage: International Maritime Conference on Marine Conservation and Sustainability Commemorates 50 Years of MARPOL
Posted inConferences / Conservation / Education / Events / Global Developments / Health and Safety / Industry Updates / Latest Update / Legal / Legal Insights / Maritime Culture / Maritime History / Maritime Law / Maritime News / Port and Infra / Safety and Security / Safety Protocols / Sustainability / Sustainable Practices / Training Programs / Webinars

A Commemorative Voyage: International Maritime Conference on Marine Conservation and Sustainability Commemorates 50 Years of MARPOL

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Kochi: In an  significant event that sent ripples through the marine world, the School of Legal Studies at Cochin University of Science and Technology cast its anchor into the seas of knowledge. In collaboration with the Cochin University Maritime Club, the ICAR – Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, and the Society of Fisheries Technologists (India), Kochi, they presented a two-day International Maritime Conference on October 19 and 20, 2023.

What made this gathering extraordinary was its innovative hybrid format, allowing for both in-person and online participation. This groundbreaking conference acted as a vital platform for a diverse community of scholars, researchers, policymakers, industry professionals, and students to come together and dive into the deep blue sea of marine conservation.

The conference, aptly titled “International Maritime Conference on Marine Conservation & Sustainability: Celebrating 50 Years of MARPOL,” this conference marked the 50th anniversary of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). It served as a platform for scholars, researchers, policymakers, industry professionals, and students to discuss critical topics related to marine conservation, sustainable fishing practices, mitigation of marine pollution, and responsible maritime practices.

The inaugural session saw notable personalities, including Dr. P. G. Sankaran, Vice Chancellor of Cochin University of Science and Technology ( CUSAT ) , and Dr. George Ninan, Director of ICAR-CIFT, Kochi. A special keynote address was given by Advocate Joy Thattil Ittoop, Managing Partner of Callidus Legal, and Dr. Luther M. Rangreji, Joint Secretary, Legal & Treaties Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, presented a special address.

L to R Dr. Harigovind PC, Dr. PG Sankaran, Dr. George Ninan, and Adv. Joy Thattil Ittoop seen unveiling the Book

To mark the inaugural a book titled ‘Marine Conservation & Sustainability: Celebrating 50 Years of MARPOL’ was unveiled by the hands of Dr. P. G. Sankaran, Dr. George Ninan, Advocate Joy Thattil Ittoop and Dr. Harigovind P. C., Director School of Law Studies, CUSAT

While giving the key note statement Secretary General, Dubai Shipping Association and Managing Partner, Callidus Legal Advocate Joy Thattil Ittoop expressed, “There is a huge opportunity for youths in the Shipping Industry. As there are very less Legal People joining Shipping, reason is lack of knowledge of the various Acts linked with it. Such conference will bring in a new transformation and pave a new way for the youths in Law studies.”

He ended his key note with a reality stating, “Remember Implementation of Law is dependent on Civilization and Technologies. So its our duty to ensure the laws are being implemented for the benefits of the People.”


Dr. Luther M. Rangreji

During a special address by Dr. Luther M. Rangreji, he said, “MARPOL is celebrating 50 years of Law of Sea. There are hundreds of Laws developed, but still the main challenge is implementation. It will take a long journey, wherein the young Lawyers can play a vital role.”

Being more concise on the role of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS ) an international treaty that defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans, including guidelines for the use and conservation of marine resources, environmental protection, and navigation. UNCLOS that is treated as the primary legal framework that underpins the effective governance of all activities in the world’s oceans.

Informing about the UNCLOS, Dr. Luther stated “UNCLOS established the legal order of the oceans and provides the grundnorm for effective governance of all its activities.”

The conference didn’t drop anchor here; it set sail on a series of technical sessions, each a compass heading into different territories. The topics were as diverse as the ocean, from the historical genesis of MARPOL Convention to circular economies in maritime decarbonization, enforcing MARPOL through Port State Control, marine renewable energies, to the realm of 50 years’ progress in oil spillage regulations, conservation of marine biodiversity, and innovative pollution control strategies.

Apart from the extensive discussions, the conference was a melting pot for students and professionals. Their paper presentations explored diverse aspects of marine conservation and sustainable practices.

The impact of this maritime summit reached far beyond the shores. It was a reminder of the ocean’s crucial role in our ecosystem and the need to embrace MARPOL’s values. India’s long coastline and booming maritime industry necessitate strong measures to prevent pollution. This not only ensures environmental preservation but also safeguards the fishing industry and coastal communities.

The valedictory session included a warm welcome from Dr. Asif E., Assistant Professor at the School of Legal Studies, CUSAT, Dr. N. S. Soman, Professor at the School of Law, Christ University, Pune, delivered the valedictory address, and a comprehensive report presentation followed by Mr. Rekhil S, Student Coordinator. The conference ended with a vote of thanks.

Mr. Rekhil S.

This International Maritime Conference was a significant step in commemorating the 50th anniversary of MARPOL while addressing critical issues of marine conservation and sustainability. The exchange of knowledge and ideas will undoubtedly contribute to safeguarding the oceans and coastal communities for generations to come.

Here’s what you need to know:

Why the Celebration of 50 Years of MARPOL Matters:

  1. Protection of India’s Rich Marine Ecosystem: India, with its expansive coastline and thriving maritime industry, relies heavily on the pristine state of its marine environment. MARPOL plays a pivotal role in preserving these waters.
  2. Safe Havens for the Fishing Industry: Pollution from ships can wreak havoc on marine ecosystems, leading to dwindling fish stocks and unsafe coastlines. This conference highlights the importance of safeguarding India’s fishing industry and coastal communities.
  3. India’s MARPOL Commitment: India’s commitment to the MARPOL cause is unwavering. This has led to the establishment of a National Maritime Pollution Control Authority, the enactment of the MARPOL (Implementation) Act, 2005, and the ratification of key MARPOL amendments.
  4. Promoting Responsibility: Strict enforcement of MARPOL regulations ensures that ship operators adhere to high environmental standards, while cutting-edge technologies are developed to prevent and manage ship-induced pollution.
  5. Awareness and Technology: The Indian government is actively increasing awareness about MARPOL among ship operators and seafarers. Simultaneously, research and development efforts are ongoing to develop innovative technologies that will help mitigate and prevent ship pollution.

The conference was a constellation of enlightening sessions, each navigated by esteemed Chairs and guided by Resource Persons who steered the discussions into uncharted waters. Here’s a glimpse of these sessions:

Introductory Session

-Chair: Dr. Seema P. S., Associate Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT.

L – R Adv Syam Kumar and Chair Dr. Seema P. S

-Resource Persons:

Dr. Waseem Ahmed Bhatt: Assistant Professor of Law, School of Maritime Law, Policy and Administration, Gujarat Maritime University, gave an in-dept information on “History and Indtroduction to MARPOL Convention.”

Dr. Waseem Ahmed Bhatt

Mr. Aditya Variath: Assistant Professor of Law and Coordinator, Centre for Research in Air and Space Laws at NLU Mumbai explained the need of “Circular Economy and Development of Maritime Infrastructure.”

Mr Aditya Variath

Advocate Syam Kumar V. M : Practitioner at High Court of Kerala emphasised on “Enforcing MARPOL through Port State Council: Problems and Perspectives.”

Advocate Syam Kumar V. M


Technical Session 1

-Chair: Dr. Vani Kesari A., Principal Coordinator, ICREP, CUSAT & Associate Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT.

R-L Dr Vani Kesari, Dr Binu Mole K and Dr Jacob Joseph, while Student Volunteers seen taking care of the Conference

-Resource Persons:

Dr. Rabia M’Rabet Temsamani: Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Jaen, Spain, Lecturer, International University of Andalusia, Spain, delved into “Marine Renewable Energies and the Protection of the Marine Environment in the Light of International Law.”

Dr. Rabia M’Rabet Temsamani


Dr. Gifty Oommen, Associate Professor, Government Law College, Ernakulam, provided an “Overview of the Development and Progress Through 50 Years of Regulation of Oil Spillage.”


Dr. Jacob Joseph, Director, Centre for Law & Agriculture, Member of Faculty, NUALS, Kochi, explored the “BBNJ Agreement and the Future of Conservation of Marine Biological Diversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.”

Dr. Jacob Joseph

Dr. Binu Mole K., Assistant Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT, shared insights on the “Challenges of Flag State Initiatives for Mitigating Ship-Induced Pollution.”

Dr. Binu Mole K

Technical Session 2:

– Chair: Dr. Satheesh Babu P. K., Head of the Department, Department of Ship Technology, CUSAT.

– Resource Persons:

Dr. V. R. Madhu, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFT, Kochi, highlighted “Fishing Technology Innovations to Foster Marine Conservation.”

Dr. Muhamed Ashraf P., Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFT, Kochi, delved into “Nanotechnology Applications in Fisheries.”

Dr. Muhamed Ashraf P

Dr. N. Manjulekshmi, Scientist, ICAR-CIFT, Kochi, discussed the intricacies of “Marine Litter and Its Management.”

Dr. N. Manjulekshmi

Mr. Paras Nath Jha, Scientist, ICAR-CIFT, Kochi, addressed “Carbon Emissions and Credit in Marine Fisheries.”

Mr Paras Nath Jha

Technical Session 3 :

-Chair: Mrs. Jean Vinitha Peter, Assistant Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT.

Left End Chair Mrs. Jean Vinitha Peter, Right End Dr. Gifty Oommen, while participant students listening to the Speaker

– Resource Persons:

Dr. Sony Vijayan, Professor, School of Law, Manipal University, Jaipur, enlightened the audience on the “Decarbonization of Shipping: International Law and India’s Response.”

Dr. Sony Vijayan

Mr. Joy Devassy, Construction Manager, Royal Haskoning DHV, Philippines, presented “Environmental Impact of Marine Construction.”

Mr. Joy Devassy through Video Conferencing

Technical Session 4:

– Chair: Dr. Nemat Sheereen S., Assistant Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT.

– Resource Persons:

  1. Dr. Shiju M. V., Professor, School of Law, Sai University, Tamil Nadu, explored the “Indian Coastal Aquaculture Law in the Context of Blue Economy.”
  2. Dr. Pallab Das, Associate Professor, School of Law, Centurion University, shared insights on “MARPOL: Understanding the Idea Behind the Convention.”
  3. Adv. Anjana Gopan, Associate Partner, Callidus Corporate and Maritime Consultancy (CCMC), Dubai, presented “Milestone of Marine Environmental Protection: A Re-look at MARPOL.”

Additionally, the conference featured paper presentations in diverse sessions, further expanding the horizons of marine conservation and sustainability. These paper presentations provided a platform for both students and professionals to delve into various aspects of marine conservation and sustainable practices, making this conference an insightful and thought-provoking event that illuminated the path toward safeguarding our oceans and coastal communities for generations to come. In all the committee received 90 Papers and 100 Abstracts, however after scrutiny only 31 were passed and converted into the book that was unveiled title  ‘Marine Conservation & Sustainability: Celebrating 50 Years of MARPOL’.

Paper Presentations were Chaired by Nine eminent Academicians:

Three Offline on First Day

  1. Dr. Gifty Oommen, Associate Professor, Government Law College, Ernakulam

    Dr. Gifty Oommen
  2. Dr. Aneesh V. Pillai, Assistant Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT

    Dr. Avneesh V. Pillai
  3. Dr. Preetha S., Associate Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT

    Dr. Preetha S


Six Online on Second Day

  1. Dr. Nikilesh N., Assistant Professor, Kannur University.
  2. Dr. Lisha Azeez, Assistant Professor, Bharata Mata School of Legal Studies, Aluva.
  3. Advocate Abilash Puthussery, Advocate, High Court of Kerala.
  4. Dr. Keerthy V. S., Assistant Professor, Christ Academy Institute of Law, Bangalore.
  5. Ms. Glory Tharakan, Faculty, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT.
  6. Dr. Suranya S. Kumar, Assistant Professor, Bharata Mata School of Legal Studies, Aluva.

This event was a resounding success due to the dedicated team members who worked tirelessly to bring it to life. As the conference marked its 50th voyage, these dedicated individuals played an essential role in ensuring its success. They not only celebrated the past achievements but charted a course for the future, emphasizing the importance of responsible maritime practices. This international conference underscored the necessity of safeguarding our oceans and coastal communities for generations to come. In the grand voyage of MARPOL, the world stands united in its commitment to protect our marine environment and embrace a sustainable maritime future.

Patron and Organizing Secretary:

– Dr. Harigovind P. C., Director, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT

– Dr. George Ninan, Director, ICAR-CIFT & President, SOFTI, Kochi


– Dr. Binu Mole K., Coordinator, CUMC & Assistant Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT

– Dr. Asif E., Coordinator, CUMC & Assistant Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT

– Dr. Nikita Gopal, Head of Division i/c & Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFT, Kochi, and Secretary, SOFTI

– Dr. M. P. Remesan, Head, Fishing Technology Division, ICAR-CIFT, Kochi

Student Coordinators:

– Mr. Rekhil S., 9th Semester B.COM LL.B

– Ms. Mariya P. S., 7th Semester BBA LL.B

Student Vice Coordinators:

– Mr. Issac Mathew Kalarickal, 9th Semester BBA LL.B

– Ms. Lakshmi Priya P. , 7th Semester B.COM LL.B

Program Committee:

– Ms. Devu R (7th Semester B.COM LL.B)

– Mr. Gokul Thejus Menon (5th Semester BBA LL.B)

– Ms. Tania Das K. (7th Semester BBA LL.B)

– Mr. Rohit Robin (5th Semester B.COM LL.B)

– Mr. Anunath K. M. (5th Semester B.COM LL.B)

– Mr. Jaison Scaria (5th Semester BBA LL.B)

– Mr. Akarsh P. Chand (5th Semester B.COM LL.B)

– Mr. Hashley Joe (5th Semester BBA LL.B)


2 thoughts on “A Commemorative Voyage: International Maritime Conference on Marine Conservation and Sustainability Commemorates 50 Years of MARPOL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *