Britain and the Sea Conference 2015
  • The Royal Society of Arts - 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ

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Just how vulnerable is international trade?

Britain and the Sea conference examines the opportunities and the risks

Leading maritime experts and senior members of the Royal Navy will be exploring the balance between commercial opportunity, security and defence in a globalised trading economy.

Hear the evidence, share the insights and judge the arguments at the Britain and the Sea conference being held during London International Shipping Week 2015.

The conference, organised by the Maritime Foundation in cooperation with Plymouth University, will further consider maritime risks in an era of uncertainty, and their effect on world trade – at the Royal Society of Arts on Tuesday, 8 September 2015.

Around 95% of goods entering and leaving the UK are handled through our ports and harbours, and over 90% of world trade is carried by sea. Britain’s maritime sector directly and indirectly is its biggest employer and is still one of the largest contributors to the UK economy.

It generates engineering and leadership skills and is a major font for apprenticeships and career opportunities.

Julian Parker OBE, Chairman of the Maritime Foundation said:

“These facts clearly demonstrate that the health and vitality of Britain’s maritime sector is of immense importance not only in terms of international trade, but also to the nation’s security and economic wellbeing. We need to ensure maritime remains an essential component of national policy.”

The opening address will be given by Doctor Fotios Moustakis, Director of The Dartmouth Centre for Sea Power and Strategy who will explain the purpose of the new centre and its role within the maritime academic institutions.

The morning and afternoon session will be chaired respectively by Alastair Couper, Professor Emeritus and Seafarer Rights International Director, and Captain Paul Wright, Master Mariner and Fellow of Plymouth University Marine Institute.

Lecturer in International Politics, Kings College London, Doctor James Scott will discuss the political economy of trade and development, while Doctor Tristan Smith, Director of the Shipping in Changing Climates Project UCL Energy Institute will tackle global warming, restrictions on carbon emissions and safeguarding the ocean environment.

The morning session will conclude with Professor Richard Clegg, Lloyds Register Foundation Managing Director putting the case for urgent priorities in education, research and development, and for Britain taking the technical lead in competitive maritime global markets.

In the afternoon session, Vice Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB, Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff will set out the strategic role of the Royal Navy in safeguarding global trade and defence of the UK.

Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE, author of Superhighway – Sea Power in the 21st Century, will raise the whole question of geopolitics and the sea – security and insecurity.

The final speaker of the conference is lecturer in maritime policy at Hull University, Sunil Shastri who will present on concerns for ocean governance and the challenge for change.

“This far reaching event will present an opportunity to debate the key issues affecting international trade,” said Sir Philip Jones. “The UK is an open, outward-looking trading nation, and the sea has never been more important to our prosperity and security.”

Details about the Britain at Sea conference at the Royal Society of Arts, are available on the dedicated website

Places are now limited and we are keen to encourage anyone wishing to attend this enlightening forum to get in touch through the website’s on-line registration facility.

Alternatively, email to arrange registration.

For further information, please contact Ben Pinnington or Sam Pinnington at Polaris Media on +44791 9010092.

Notes to editors

Some of the key issues:

  • Geopolitics backed by naval forces raises critical issues about the use of the seas and the changing nature of seapower directed towards expanding national interests, securing access to resources, annexation of territory and projecting influence.
  • The balance between market economies exploiting the opportunities provided by free trade agreements and the conflicts which arise when market forces lead to unsustainable over fishing, environmental degradation, energy distortion, competition for territory and the unfettered exploitation of resources including capital, commodities and labour.
  • Eradicating piracy, protecting national security in response to terrorism and securing unfettered access to trade, are not always rated as relevant when societies on land are engaged in warfare, and inter regional and tribal conflicts.
  • The maritime sector is a major source of apprenticeships and career opportunities generating a substantial range of engineering and leadership skills.
  • Wherever Britain is in the social evolution and geopolitical footing, it will remain an island. The facts are that Britain is part of the Commonwealth, which collectively gives responsibility for over 65% of the world’s oceans, a member of the Security Council, a nuclear state, a key country in NATO and the EU, and a strategic alliance with the United States.

Schedule of events




Welcome and introduction
Julian Parker OBE, Chairman, the Maritime Foundation Chairman:

Paul Wright MSc, Master Mariner, Visiting Fellow Plymouth University Marine Institute


Opening address
Dr Fotios Moustakis, Director, The Dartmouth Centre for Sea Power and Strategy


The political economy of trade and development
Doctor James Scott, Lecturer in International Politics, Kings College London


Global warming and the restrictions on carbon emissions. How will this affect the international shipping industry?
Doctor Tristan Smith, Director, Shipping in Changing Climates Project UCL Energy Institute


Taking the lead in competitive maritime global markets – the case for Education Research and Development
Professor Richard Clegg, Managing Director, Lloyds Register Foundation


Chairman: Professor Alastair Couper, Professor Emeritus at Cardiff University


Geopolitics and the sea – security and insecurity
Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE, author of Superhighway Sea Power in the 21st Century


The strategic role of the Royal Navy in safeguarding global trade and defence of the United Kingdom
Vice Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB, Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff


Ocean Governance – the challenge for change
Sunil Shastri FRGS FRSA, Lecturer in Maritime Policy, Hull University

Further details of the programme and speakers are available on

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