EU SHIPSAN ACT JA - Newsletter: Issue 17

23 December 2015/Categories: News, Newsletters

Download the EU SHIPSAN ACT JA - Newsletter: Issue 17 in .pdf format


Dr Rimantas Pilipavicius, Lithuania

Dear readers,

In this edition, Joint Action leaders present us the main outcomes, which were achieved during the last three years and the main events, which are planned in the near future. After reading this article you will find, how many different activities were organized and evaluate its significance for the inspectors of port health authorities, ship’s crew members and any other institution which is interested in EU SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action.
Sewage treatment has two essential roles, first to protect public health and second to protect the environment. Mr. Martin Walker introduce us the information about vessel’s sewage, the main risks and the sewage treatment basic principles.
Dr. Eirian Thomas, Dr. Thomas Gaulton, Dr. Raquel Duarte-Davidson and other experts present you the exercise which aim was to test the implementation of EU Decision (1082/2013/EU) on serious cross-border threats to health. Taking into account today’s world realities this exercise and it results are very significant to all EU and Non-EU countries.
In this Newsletter you have the possibility to “meet” all the Spanish SHIPSAN team and to visit the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain.
Don’t miss the 7th Live Webinar “State of the Art report on health threats related to maritime transport”, which will be held on the 27th of January, 2016.
The most wonderful time of the year is coming. I would like to wish You to take time during the rush of the holidays to enjoy the things in life that really matter. Take in the serene moments spent with friends and loved ones, and may the wonder of Christmas surround You throughout the holiday season and all year round. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

News from the leadership 

Prof Christos Hadjichristodoulou, SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action Coordinator
Dr Barbara Mouchtouri, SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action Manager

As 2015 comes to an end with the Christmas and New Year’s coming up it is unavoidable not to think about the years’ achievements and challenges faced and to plan ahead for the New Year’s activities and goals.
The Joint Action is almost completing three years of implementation. During these three years many goals were achieved. Studies were conducted producing the required knowledge to update the existing guidelines included in the European Manual for Hygiene Standards and Communicable Diseases Surveillance, the SHIPSAN ACT Information System and to develop new guidelines and tools. A total of 140 announced pilot inspections were conducted in 33 ports by 57 inspectors (2011, 2013, 2014) according to the standards of the European Manual and 62 short (48hr) notice routine inspections were conducted in 33 ports in 2015. The SHIPSAN ACT Information System (SIS) was used for communication and information sharing of 27 events (1800 cases), recording inspections conducted against the European Manual and recording and issuing about 7500 Ship Sanitation Certificates. Face to face training courses at European level were conducted focused on IHR (2005) and the issuance of SSCs, on the European manual and SIS and on chemical and radiological issues (4 training courses for port health officers, 3 training courses for seafarers). A total of four national training courses were conducted (Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Croatia) and another four are scheduled in 2016 (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Nordic countries) training in total about 160 Port Health Officers. The SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action partners participated in about 30 events (national and international) disseminating the Joint Action’s results and raising awareness and recognition of the SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action’s results and added value. The most recent meeting attended was the satellite workshop “Bridging epidemiology to public health security policy”, a pre-event to the ESCAIDE conference held on the 10th of November 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden where the Joint Action Coordinator gave the keynote speech on the subject “Bridging health security knowledge from epidemiological studies to public health policy development SHIPSAN ACT experience”.
The partnership placed the cornerstones for the policy take up during the previous years and is now continuing to work towards the legal basis of the EU SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action.

Figure 1 -Bridging health security knowledge from epidemiological studies to public health policy development.

Thematic Sections 

Environmental health and hygiene on ships


Martin Walker, Port Health Officer, Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority, Felixstowe, England

Key Message: Explaining how liquid waste is disposed of from vessels.

Having previously covered ballast water over the last 3 issues, it is time for a change of topic. However, continuing the ongoing theme of visiting all areas of vessels covered by the WHO Technical Handbook1, I will turn my attention to the issue of sewage. Here, I will cover the key processes involved in treating liquid waste.

What is sewage?
For vessels, sewage is defined by the IMO, through MARPOL 73/782. Sewage means:

a. Drainage and other wastes from any form of toilets, urinals and WC scuppers;

b. Drainage from medical premises (dispensary, sick bay, etc.) via wash basins, wash tubs and scuppers located in such premises;

c. Drainage from spaces containing living animals;

d. Other wastes when mixed with the drainages above. 

On board, sewage may also be referred to as “black water”. The word “sewerage” is sometimes mis-used
(this term refers to the infrastructure that conveys sewage).

The risks from sewage
The risks from sewage on board vessels where it is not properly managed or disposed of can affect both those on board the vessel and those living or working at ports or those close to discharge areas. There is a huge range of pathogenic organisms and harmful substances that survive in untreated sewage and so avoidance of contact with sewage is vital. Where insufficently treated sewage is discharged into port areas, areas close to populations or areas where filter feeding shellfish (e.g. mussels, oysters etc.) are being grown, the risk of disease spread is heightened.

The process of treatment
The very simplest systems on-board vessels are holding tanks. No treatment takes place and there is no comminuting or disinfection so the sewage is just stored prior to discharge. For these systems disposal of sewage has to be at suitable port reception facilities or at a distance of more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land3. This is not the only control however, as any discharge has to be at a set rate depending upon the speed of the vessel. This is to ensure suitable dilution rates of discharged sewage within the open sea4.
The next type of system is where very basic treatment (comminuting and disinfection (usually with chlorine)) has taken place. MARPOL Regulation 11(as amended)3, 5 requires discharge to take place not less than 3 nautical miles from the nearest land. For this process there is no approved international standard for discharge rates. National Controls may exist for the discharge standards to be achieved; for example those published by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency6. Finally, the greatest amount of treatment is that achieved by approved sewage treatment plants that meet specified international standards from the Marine Environment Protection Committee5. These plants are allowed to discharge to the sea due to the level of treatment of the effluent that they are able to achieve.
It should be borne in mind that these are general rules and other specific prohibitions (e.g. special areas such as the Baltic Sea) may prevail in certain cases.

Sewage Treatment – typical processes
The basic principle of sewage treatment is that microbial action (in the form of aerobic bacteria) is used to decompose the sewage. To achieve efficient operation, sewage will be screened through a mesh filter to break down large solids and thus increase their surface area. Aerobic bacteria will then start to decompose the sewage in the second stage of the treatment plant (aeration chamber). Decomposition products will be carbon dioxide, water and inorganic sewage (e.g. heavy metals). During this stage, aeration of the chamber with forced air is vital to ensure aerobic conditions are maintained. If the conditions become anaerobic, the decomposition processes change and there is the risk of resultant production of toxic and flammable gases (e.g. Hydrogen Sulphide, Methane,).
The aerobic chamber produces a mixture of liquid waste and sludge. The next stage is to separate these through a settling tank. The heavier sludge will settle at the base of the tank with the liquid floating on top. The sludge will be recycled back into incoming sewage to prevent anaerobic conditions prevailing there but with periodic discharge to port reception facilities or the open sea.
The final treatment stage is disinfection prior to discharge. This takes place through the contact of chlorine in a contact tank. The suggested minimum contact time varies but could be 30 minutes based upon a 5% hypochlorite solution7.

The figure below shows the sequence of the typical processes involved:

Source: World Health Organization

Source: World Health Organization

The process of sewage treatment depends upon a number of processes operating correctly to minimise the public health risks. As it is a biological process, the environmental conditions for sewage decomposition are paramount and carelessness can cause problems. For example, excessive use of bleach or non-approved toilet cleaners are likely to kill off the bacteria required for the operation of the treatment plant.

The proper management and understanding of sewage treatment systems is vital to prevent or minimise risks to public health. Equally, when problems arise, the hazards can be significant. Inspectors need to be familiar with the basic processes involved in sewage treatment and ensure that they have confidence in both the vessels infrastructure and management.


1 “Handbook for Inspection of Ships and Issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates”, World Health Organization 2011,

2 “International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973 (modified by the protocol of 1978 relating to [MARPOL 73/78 Annex IV]”, IMO

3 “MARPOL 73/78 Annex IV Regulation 11, IMO

4 “Resolution MEPC.157(55), Recommendation on standards for the rate of dischargeof untreated sewage from ships.” – The Marine Environment Protection Committee

4 “Resolution MEPC.159(55), Revised Guidelines on Implementation of Effluent Standards and Performance Tests for Sewage Treatment Plants.” – The Marine Environment Protection Committee

5 “Resolution MEPC.164 (56), Amendments to the Annex of the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973.”

6 “Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1807 (M+F)” Maritime and Coastguard Agency. 


Chemical and radiological issues on ships:

Exercise Quicksilver Plus - European Command Post Exercise

Authors: Eirian Thomas, Thomas Gaulton, Raquel Duarte-Davidson1, Keith Fleming, Veronica Nelson, Charles Turner, Paul Riley2, Birgitta Liljedahl.3 Public Health England (1) Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Didcot, UK (2) Emergency Response Department, Porton, UK; FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency (3).

Key Points / Messages
• European command post exercises have provided Member States, the European Commissions and other agencies with an opportunity to test the implementation of the EU Decision on serious cross-border threats to health (1083/2013/EU).
• Scenarios presented in Exercise Quicksilver and Quicksilver Plus specifically focussed on chemicals, environmental and climate change-related incidents.
• Public health events involving ship and the maritime sector were included in the design and delivery of these command post exercises.

In September 2015 a European command post exercise took place that focussed on the response of European Member States (MS) and other organisations to simulated cross-border chemical incidents within the EU. Exercise Quicksilver Plus was conducted in real-time over two days and brought together an extensive range of stakeholders, including health professionals and scientific experts as well as communication specialists.

The aim of the exercise was “To test the implementation of EU Decision (1082/2013/EU) 2 on serious cross-border threats to health resulting from chemicals, environmental and climate change-related incidents; especially in the areas of preparedness, monitoring, surveillance, risk, crisis communication, coordination and response”.1

Participating MS and European organisations operated from their own emergency operations centre or command and control facilities and responded to information on the simulated incidents in accordance with current plans and guidance using all the usual tools and means of communication that would be used during ‘real’ incidents and emergencies.1,

This was the second exercise of its kind and complemented the delivery of Exercise Quicksilver in 2014. In each exercise participants were presented with a number of scenarios which were intended to replicate incidents involving the accidental or deliberate release of chemicals impacting on public health and the environment. Public health events involving ships and the maritime sector were included in these command post exercises, giving participants an opportunity to consider the necessary measures to safeguard the health of passengers and crew as well as manage the cross-border threat to health.

Exercise Quicksilver Plus (2015) reported cases of illness on cruise liners which were linked to cases of illness throughout Europe. The source of the illness was initially unknown but as the scenario unfolded, the illness was discovered to be related to a consumer product which had been tainted with a chemical. In contrast, Exercise Quicksilver (2014) asked MS to consider a maritime scenario where toxic industrial chemicals were released following a collision between a cargo vessel and a passenger ferry. 3 Both scenarios required participants to test their notification and alerting arrangements and provided an opportunity for them to engage with others and share information in order to provide an appropriate public health response. These Exercises have provided an excellent opportunity to test inter-sectoral communication and further strengthen relationships between those involved in the response to chemical and environmental incidents in Europe.

Image: The European Commission’s Health Operations Facility (HEOF) which was activated in Exercise Quicksilver and Quicksilver Plus

Responding to serious cross-border threats to health in Europe

Exercise Quicksilver and Quicksilver Plus were commissioned by the European Commission’s Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) in order to provide MS, European Agencies and other interested organisations with an opportunity to test the use of plans and the usability of existing systems, communication processes and tools to contribute to the implementation of the new Decision on serious cross-border threats to health 1,.

The EU Decision2 1082/2013/EU is a legal instrument to aid the coordination of the risk assessment and management of emerging transboundary public health threats. It is intended to:

  • Strengthen emergency preparedness and planning
  • Improve risk assessment and management of cross-border health threats
  • Establish necessary arrangements for the development and implementation of joint procurement of medical countermeasures
  • Enhance coordination of response at EU level by providing a legal mandate to the Health Security Committee
Participating organisations currently have an opportunity to contribute to an evaluation of Exercise Quicksilver Plus, which will be presented to the European Commission in December.


1. Exercise Quicksilver Plus, Briefing to Participants, 2nd Core Planning Meeting, Luxembourg, July 2015

2. EU. Decision No 1082/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 on serious cross-border threats to health [].

3. Exercise Quicksilver, Command Post Exercise Report 2014

People from the project


Author: Miguel Dávila, Head of the International Alerts Unit, Deputy Directorate General of Foreign Health, Directorate General for Public Health, Quality and Innovation, Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality

The Spanish SHIPSAN inspectors’ team has grown up recently. Thanks to the national training course held in Tenerife last October, the number of inspectors properly trained to conduct SHIPSAN inspections has increased significantly. Now, there are a total number of 19 inspectors working at 12 Spanish ports that comply with SHIPSAN requirements. Moreover, the ports of Barcelona, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Santander and Tenerife are participating in the SHIPSAN Inspection Plan and 7 inspections were scheduled for 2015.

Inspectors’ background is varied; 6 of them are medical doctors, 9 nurses and 4 technical officers. They have a large experience on ship inspections and outbreak management on ships. The team is coordinated by the International Alerts Unit belonging to the Deputy Directorate of Foreign Health located at the Spanish Ministry of Health, due to the fact that all the activities related to health control at borders in Spain are State competencies. Over the past years, our inspectors have participated in a total number of 21 inspections in the scope of the SHIPSAN Inspection Plan pilot phase.

Let me finish these words expressing my gratitude to all the Spanish SHIPSAN inspectors for their engagement in SHIPSAN activities and their contribution to the success of the Joint Action. 

News and forthcoming dates

EU SHIPSAN ACT Past events:
Spanish national training course

When: 26-29 October 2015 Where: Spain

Author: Miguel Dávila, Head of the International Alerts Unit, Deputy Directorate General of Foreign Health, Directorate General for Public Health, Quality and Innovation, Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality

A 32 hour National SHIPSAN training course was held in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) in October. It was organized by the International Alerts Unit belonging to the Deputy Directorate of Foreign Health, Ministry of Health of Spain, and counted on the contribution of the Port Health Authority, the Chamber of Commerce and the Canary Islands Business School as collaborating entities. The course was accredited by an Official Spanish Accreditation Institution with 4.5 Continuing Medical Education credits.

23 Spanish port health officers and 9 national and international SHIPSAN experts participated in the course. It was entirely about SHIPSAN aspects and was eminently practical, in such a way that the main aspects of ship inspections were put in practice on real scenarios. Participants were split into five working groups of 4-5 people that ran in parallel in the classroom, covering all the topics in a rotational way. A training visit to a passenger ship was conducted for 5 hours. An introductory meeting with the Captain and crew took place to explain the objectives of the visit. Then, the ship was divided into 5 different areas each of which was responsibility of a SHIPSAN expert, and the groups visited those 5 areas in a rotational way. At the end of the visit a final meeting with the Captain was held to discuss the main findings.

After the end of the course, trainees are prepared to perform inspections based on the standards of the EU SHIPSAN Manual by applying inspection principles and techniques on passenger ships. They were also trained on how to respond to public health events on board effectively and proportionally to the risks.
The preliminary results of the evaluation questionnaires showed that most of the questions were answered as “good” and “very good” by participants.
Finally, I’d like express my gratitude to Mr. Manuel Rivas who kindly collaborated with us by putting at our disposal one of his ships.

Other past events:
20th International Danube Shipping and Tourism Conference

When: 2-4 December 2015 Where: Budapest, Hungary

EU SHIPSAN ACT forthcoming events:

7th Live Webinar - State of the Art report on health threats related to maritime transport

When: Wednesday, 27th January 2016 Time: 14:00 Central European Time Duration: 1 hour

The live webinar series organised by the SHIPSAN ACT partnership continues with a webinar on the State of the Art in health threats related to maritime transport.

  • Dr Carmen Varela Martinez (PhD in Pharmacy, Epidemiologist, Head of food and waterborne diseases. National Centre of Epidemiology, Spain)
  • Dr Thomas von Münster (Specialist in Occupational Medicine, Institute for Occupational and Maritime Medicine, Germany)
  • Dr Martin Dirksen-Fischer (Head of the Hamburg Port Health Center, Hamburg Port Health Center, Germany) 

Visit the website to enrol to the webinar series:

National Training Courses in 2016

• Overall schedule for 2016

In 2016, the partners of the EU SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action will continue organising national training courses on inspections according to the European Manual and for the Issuance of the Ship Sanitation Certificates. The scheduled training courses in Greece, Bulgaria and Denmark are presented below. 



Possible dates

Course Title



7-9 March 2016

“Inspections according to the European Manual for hygiene standards and communicable diseases surveillance on passenger ship”



 17-18 March 2016

“Inspections according to the European Manual for hygiene standards and communicable diseases surveillance on passenger ship”



11-13 April 2016

“International Health Regulations-Ship Sanitation Certificates”

Training Course on International Health Regulations: Ship Sanitation Certificates

The Centre of Maritime Health and Society (CMSS), University of Southern Denmark is planning a short training course for port health officers and ship inspectors, in cooperation with the World Health Organization, European Office and the EU SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action, in Esbjerg on 11-13 April 2016.

The course will address inspection of hygiene and health standards on ships based on the European manual on hygiene standards and communicable diseases surveillance and on the issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates (SSC) based on the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) learning package.

The course is meant for professionals from the Nordic and the Baltic countries who work in authorities responsible in performing ship inspections and issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates (SSC). This course aims at bringing a gap in the field as expressed by the respective professionals.

According to the results of a relevant research conducted in all the European Union member states, the ascending countries plus Iceland and Norway in 2014, the responding professionals expressed training requirements in almost all the respective topics. This includes intensive training needs related to public health risks from microbiological, chemical and radiological agents and guidelines for reporting to the competent authorities.

For more information please contact:
Despena Andrioti PhD,
Senior researcher, Centre of Maritime Health and Society
Tel. +45 6550 9391


Recent Publications

An outbreak of multiple norovirus strains on a cruise ship in China, 2014.

J Appl Microbiol. 2015 Oct 19.
Wang X, Yong W, Shi L, Qiao M, He M, Zhang H, Guo B, Xie G, Zhang M, Jin M, Ding J.

AIMS: To determine the cause of an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis that occurred on a cruise ship sailing along the Yangzi River from Chongqing to Nanjing, China.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Noroviruses were identified by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) in rectal swabs from 34 of 54 subjects tested (63.0%). Sequencing and genotyping showed that noroviruses of up to 7 different genotypes circulated in this outbreak: noroviruses GI.1, GI.2, GI.3, GI.4, GI.8, GI.9, and an uncommon strain GII.17. Common genotypes were not identified in this event. None of the food or water samples were tested positive for noroviruses.

CONCLUSIONS: We suspected that it was a point-source infection due to contaminated water or food harvested from contaminated water, taking account of the co-existence of diverse norovirus genotypes.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: In this study, we presented the molecular investigation of a norovirus outbreak on a cruise in China. We revealed that the outbreak was caused by several different norovirus genotypes and analyzed the possible source of infection as well, thus facilitating the evaluation of epidemiological issues regarding noroviruses in this area. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Seafarer deaths at sea: a German mortality study.

Occup Med (Lond). 2015 Sep 26. pii: kqv153.

Oldenburg M, Herzog J, Harth V.

BACKGROUND: Seafarers face numerous hazards during their work at sea.

AIMS: To demonstrate the frequency and causes of mortality in German seafarers.

METHODS: The deaths of all German seafarers from 1998 to 2008 were counted and evaluated using the German central civil register in Berlin.

RESULTS: The study cohort comprised a total of 159588 seafarer-years. During the 11 year period, 68 male seafarers died on board. The average age was 48.5 years (SD 12.7 years) and comprised 35 deck officers, 16 engine officers and 17 general crew members (i.e. non-officers from the deck and engine room crew and galley staff). Cause of death was documented in 45 cases (66%): 26 were due to unnatural causes (occupational accidents, suicides) and 19 due to natural causes (particularly, ischaemic heart disease). The crude annual mortality rate for German seamen was 65 per 100000 seafarer-years. For cardiac causes, this rate was significantly higher among deck and engine officers (24 and 38) than among crew ranks (7 per 100000 seafarer-years) (P < 0.05). Deck and engine officers also showed a higher mortality rate for accidents (28 and 22) than crew ranks (15) (P < 0.05). The age-stratified fatal accident rate of German seafarers aboard was 10 times higher than the mortality of the German general population on shore.

CONCLUSIONS: Seafaring constitutes an occupation with a high risk for serious accidents. Due to the unexpectedly high mortality rate among officers associated with work-related accidents, this occupational group should receive more effective education on safety behaviour on board.
What’s new on the website

Updated information on the European directory of authorised ports to issue SSC under IHR 2005

The contact details of about 500 authorised ports of 19 EU countries for issuing Ship Sanitation Certificates under IHR (2005) have been updated and are available via the EU SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action website.

The aim of this directory is to create a contact list for authorised ports of EU countries responsible for issuing Ship Sanitation Certificates under IHR (2005) that will:
  • facilitate port to port communication, 
  • strengthen the network of port health officers in Europe and 
  • further facilitate communication of the ship directly with the appropriate port health authorities when desiring to ask for a Ship Sanitation Certificates renewal. 

By using the different fields either individually or in combination in the link provided below you can search for the contact details of authorised ports of EU countries for issuing Ship Sanitation Certificates under IHR (2005):

The contact details were provided by the SHIPSAN ACT partners and are published after receiving written consent.

Author: Carlos Belmar, Ministry of Health, Spain

What famous pirate, protagonist of several films, was concerned about his crew state of health during their long voyages?

Answer to the previous issue quiz:
Emil Racovitza (15 November 1868 – 17 November 1947) was a Romanian biologist, zoologist, speleologist, explorer of Antarctica and the first biologist in the world to study the arctic life. On 16 August 1897, under the aegis of the Royal Society of Geography in Brussels, Belgium, the Belgica, a former Norwegian wooden whaler, left the port of Antwerp, setting sail for the South. The 19 members of the team were of various nationalities. Apart from Racovitza, the team was made up of Norwegian Roald Amundsen (who was to conquer the South Pole in 1911), Belgian physicist Émile Danco, Polish geologist and oceanographer Henryk Arctowski with his assistant Antoni Bolesław Dobrowolski and American physician Frederick Cook.

Racovitza was the first researcher to collect botanical and zoological samples from areas beyond the Antarctic Circle. During the expedition in Antarctica he had the opportunity to study the life of immense aquatic mammals, and penguins. He remained in the history of science as the discoverer of beaked whale.

Following the discovery of new species of crustaceans in Cueva del Drach cave in Mallorca, visited in 1904, this scientific area fascinated him, and he give up Oceanology research to devote to underground ecosystems. Upon entering the city Palma de Mallorca there is a statue of Emil Racovita.

Emil Racovitza contribut to speleology and explore over 1400 caves in France, Spain, Algeria, Italy, and Slovenia. He is considered to be, together with René Jeannel, one of the founders of biospeleology

In 1920, established at town Cluj, first Speleological Institute in the world. Renowned biologists, two Frenchmen (Jules Guiart and René Jeannel) and Swiss (Alfred Chappuis) joined the teaching staff in Cluj.


  • Alexandru Marinescu: An expedition called "Belgica", Ed. Ion Creangă, Bucharest, 1991 
  • Bănărescu Anca, Alexandru Iftimie and Alexandru Marinescu: Emil Racoviţă diary, Ed. The company, Bucharest, 1997 
  • Alexandru Marinescu: Emil Racovita and expedition "Belgica", Ed. All, Bucharest, 1999, 
  • George Racoviţă: To know or not to know. Emil Racovitză truths of his life. Edit. Romanian Academy, Bucharest, 1999 
  • Article about Emil Racoviţă in National Geographic magazine, Nr. 118, February 2013, page 22
Congratulations to the following for providing the correct answer.
• Fernando del Hierro Vega, Director, Ministerio de Hacienda y Administraciones, Spain
• Audronė Lavruvianec, Chief specialist at the department of Communicable diseases prevention and control, Lithuania

Port in focus


Almudena Rivera, Head of the Tenerife Foreign Health Unit, Spain
The Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is in the capital of the island, Santa Cruz, very close to the city center. It is situated in the north-west of the Tenerife Island, one of the seven Canary Islands and also the capital of the west province.
It is both a container port, with shipping lines that operate from the port sail to Gran Canaria, Cadiz and Barcelona, and a passenger port, which has had a strong growth in the recent years.

The beginning of tourism in our island dates back to the 18th century, when the first English arrived in Tenerife by sea leaving here some of his fellow citizens. Among these settlers, who came to the island on ships calling at the port for cargo and passenger provisioned, were the first tourists, obviously very different from today's cruise features, but can already be termed as such.

English liner Lusitania was the first ship that came to the island with cruise passengers in 1899. This was a group of 144 people who started this activity as we know today.

Photo 1: Lusitania. First cruise at passenger ship that arrived at Tenerife port in 1899 (Source: Fondos de Torregosa in

The port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which back in 2000 recorded a movement of just over 125.624 cruise passengers, exceeded 500.000 passengers in less than a decade. In fact, the Port welcomes around 550.000 cruise ship passengers in 2014, becoming one of the top 4 ports in Spain in cruise traffic.

Photo 2: View of the Port of S/C de Tenerife. South dock.

The Port is an authorized port under International Health Regulations 2005 (WHO) for SSCC, SSCEC and extension of certificates. Also, in 2012 was designated point of entry by the Spanish Government, under the considerations of this document (IHR-2005) being able to give response to a specific potential public health risk, relevant data concerning sources of infection or contamination, including vectors and reservoirs, which could result in international disease spread.
Since 2009, the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has the new Port Inspection Center, a modern building which centralizes all the border inspection administrations, bringing together all inspection services in a single vantage point.

Photo 3: Port Inspection Center in the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The Port has regular shipping lines all over the world, other than national lines; it receives cargo ships from Asia, Oceania, Africa, America and Europe. In 2014, 3.348 merchant ships arrived to the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife: bulk-carriers, general cargo vessels, tankers and containers.

Photo 4: Cargo Terminal. Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

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