Greeting to the National Maritime Conference
The 12th National Maritime Conference in Rostock, Germany was opened this morning. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon sent a digital greeting to the participants, speaking from an island in the inner Oslo Fjord.
The islet lies along the old sea route that linked together Oslo and ports all over the globe. The fjords have always been Norway’s gateway to Europe and the rest of the world.
The oceans provide crucial transport routes and a vast abundance of food, and have unlimited potential as a source of renewable energy. In addition they give us beauty and extraordinary experiences. But we must safeguard the health of our oceans if we are to continue to harvest their riches in the same way as we have for generations. The Crown Prince pointed out that our oceans are under threat from climate change and pollution – especially plastic pollution. He emphasised the need for the world community to take action.
Crown Prince Haakon’s greeting to the National Maritime Conference in Rostock. Photo: Simen Løvberg Sund, The Royal Court
German and Norway are leading maritime nations with a long history of cooperation. In the Middle Ages, Rostock and Bergen were part of the Hanseatic League, trading in salt and stockfish. Today institutions in these same cities are collaborating on the development of world-class maritime technology. This is just one example of the wide-ranging cooperation between Norway and Germany. There is huge potential for further expanding this, the Crown Prince said, and concluded by wishing the participants an interesting and successful conference.
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