Global trade association Interferry has launched a call for papers on Safety, Security and the Environment ahead of its 43rd annual conference taking place in Cancun, Mexico this October.

CEO Mike Corrigan stresses: “The core themes of this year’s conference are issues of ever-increasing importance not just to the worldwide ferry industry but across society as a whole. We welcome papers from both within and outside the industry that can bring unique perspectives to these topics.”

Two keynote speakers have already been confirmed – Robin Silvester, president and CEO of industry-leading environmental sustainability pioneer the Port of Vancouver, and Mark Sutcliffe, director of the CSO Alliance of maritime company security officers. Interferry has also approached a multinational authority for a keynote presentation on global terrorism trends and the potential impact on ferry operations, which will be further reviewed by the association’s newly-formed Security Committee.

Interferry’s Domestic Safety Committee will present an update on its work focusing on improvements in the developing world. Papers are invited from suppliers with available safety-orientated technologies that could be implemented easily and cost-effectively in developing nations. In addition, the session will include a review of the association’s work regarding fire safety – largely through its IMO consultative status – and relevant suppliers are likewise invited to submit presentation proposals.

On environmental issues, Interferry is encouraging operator case studies on initiatives other than electrification and LNG as alternative fuels, which were covered at last year’s conference. “Topics under consideration for 2018 could include hydrogen fuel, ballast water management and underwater ship noise,” suggests Corrigan. “We’re looking for a broad spectrum of presentations ranging from ferry-specific environmental stewardship programs to green initiatives addressing terminals, foreshores, waters and marine life. In particular, we want ship-breaking and disposal to be a significant part of this agenda, with presentations and a panel discussion among operators and breaking yards on the legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the ethical debate.”

The call for papers on safety, security and the environment has a deadline of May 8. Submissions should be sent to with a short biography of the speaker and a 300-word abstract on the proposed topic. Speakers will be notified by June 15. The two-day conference on October 8-9 is the centrepiece of an event running from October 6-10 that also includes a comprehensive networking and social programme – providing a one-stop opportunity for delegates to learn from experts and each other, gather practical guidance for their own operations and make valuable new contacts.