From 21th to 24th September 2016 the 9th General Assembly of the European Maritime Heritage (EMH), the European umbrella association for traditional ships in action, took place near San Sebastian (Spain). It’s European Capital of Culture 2016 in Errenteria and Pasaia. Hanse Sail office attended as it plays an active role on the board of EMH and represents the cities of the Baltic Sail. More than 30 owners and friends of traditional ships from 15 nations exchanged for 3 days their experience for design and operation of vehicles. How can the existence of our maritime heritage be saved? Guests even arrived from Canada.
The congress was part of the annual festival in Atlantikaldia Erreteria with which the city would like to recall its maritime traditions. Hosted by the staff of the project ALBAOLA whose objective is one faithful replica of a whaling ship from 1563, the „San Juan“. 900,000 EUR per year are available for the project and 45,000 visitors already noticed the progress of work and visited the exhibition. The original ship was used to transport oil from Newfoundland (Canada) to Spain, more precisely to the Basque Country to Pasaia. The Basques were not only good sailors. They were considered being the best whalers.
In the General Assembly, it was decided to convert the Association EMH into a company under European law and to register it in one of the Member States of the European Community in 2017. The lead management for this has GSHW – Joint Commission for Historical watercraft e.V., a German umbrella organization for traditional ships in operation.