Keeping the sea in mind

The Awards give recognition to those who promote awareness of maritime issues and those who have contributed to their solutions

Hay Festival 2010

Maritime Media Awards Brochure 2010

Photo: Nigel Andrews

The brochure for this year’s Maritime Media Awards focuses on maritime trade. The features presented cover the essential role of ports as gateways for imports and exports, as well as the parts played by a number of organisations – not least the Royal Navy – in supporting and protecting that trade. The accompanying DVD includes interviews with shipowners, port executives, service-sector professionals and those responsible for recruitment and training.

In the context of maritime trade and the needs of seafarers, it is heartening to learn of the educational and other essential work undertaken by Maritime UK, the Marine Society and the newly formed Seafarers’ Rights International.

On other pages, we learn that the protection of the marine environment through conservation and management is taking shape under the aegis of the Marine Management Organisation. There is no doubt that the fishing industry was under severe threat of collapse, but farsighted leaders fought for and secured a new Marine and Coastal Access Act to enable more sustainable management of this vital resource. The Maritime Foundation seeks to highlight such issues to a wider public so that the consequences of not taking early and positive action can be exposed.

The misjudgements of the past and the subsequent reclamation of sea vision is reflected in the nation’s maritime history. The lessons of the past have resonance with present and future maritime endeavour, so it is most appropriate to welcome the Society for Nautical Research, whose Anderson Medal is presented annually for the best work of maritime history.

The cover of this brochure and the article by Commander Sue Eagles on page 24 look forward to an important event on 4 November, when leaders of Britain’s maritime interests will gather to celebrate the House of Lords Armada Day and our nation’s maritime history. The aim is to draw attention to Britain’s great maritime past, and to the role of the Royal Navy in the defence of the realm and the protection of overseas trade. This major event is being hosted by Lord Selsdon on behalf of the Maritime Foundation.

At the Hay Literary Festival in June this year, the Maritime Foundation was represented by an eminent panel of experts chaired by Dan Snow. An audience of over six hundred participated attentively in a discussion on ‘The future of Britain as a maritime nation’.

The Maritime Media Awards were established by the Maritime Foundation in 1995 in honour of the late Desmond Wettern, naval correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. He believed passionately that in times of difficulty the nation would always have to call on the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy. He argued that informed journalists had a responsibility to ensure that the sea remained in the forefront of national consciousness.

The Maritime Foundation seeks to take this sentiment forward, and welcomes all the nominees and guests to this year’s Awards ceremony.