A warm welcome to the twenty-third Maritime Media Awards. This year we have outgrown the capacity of the Institute of Directors, and we have a new venue in the magnificent setting of Drapers’ Hall – demonstrating the success of the awards and reflecting growing interest in ‘blue thinking’.
Congratulations to all who have been nominated for awards this year – the authors, journalists, film makers, television producers and creators of digital media – all of whose work we celebrate in the Maritime Media Awards. The names of all the nominees are included in this programme, and I am sure you will agree with me that in 2018 their work is more appreciated than ever.
We are very grateful to all our sponsors for making the event possible, and to the Pew Trusts for continued support in helping to finance the publication of Maritime 2018.
Among the issues highlighted by the media is a reminder that as an island nation we depend on the ‘free flow’ of trade for our economic prosperity, and that there is an urgent need to safeguard the UK’s coastal waters and exclusive economic zone.
Without the media, too, it is doubtful that we would be aware of the fragility of ocean ecosystems or the enormous scale of plastic pollution and its devastating effect on marine life. These considerations are picked up in the second issue of our annual publication, Maritime 2018, which seeks to resolve the contradictions inherent in trying to answer the question ‘How do we value the oceans?’ Demonstrating value is vital to our collective understanding of the ocean environment, and essential if we are to prevent catastrophic damage. Only the media has the power to do this.
Julian Parker OBE
Chairman, The Maritime Foundation