Maritime Culture: Challenge for sustainable development of the port of Veracruz

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Veracruz as most of the ports has been evolving since its founding 500 years ago. It has always been central to the building of the character and personality of the country, but not in maritime culture, therefore Veracruz is the only location where marine life is breathed Mexican culture but not maritime knowledge. The port city has gone through an identification and re-identification with its port. 20 years ago in order to achieve efficiency the port was dissociated from the city and other elements began to form part of their identity. The formal design of the Port occurred more than 100 years ago, this means that the port conditions are outdated, expensive and are a significant constraint. The economy of the country depends heavily on expanding the port; there are national and international capitals for investment and there is also the will of the government to do it. However this has not been achieved. Why? The expansion of the port is a hostage of interest based on mistrust and ignorance. The University propose that the Port must offer a generous promotion of maritime culture, which should come from inside the port, to make society realise that port activities:
1. Are not an isolated point of globalization;
2. That economic development is the social development substrate needed;
3. That the conservation of the planet’s ecology, and of the natural and historical heritage are key to gestate the ports of the future.

Dr. Virgilio Arenas Fuentes is currently professor at the Universidad Veracruzana. University Program Coordinator for Maritime Culture and promoter of Sustainable Development of the Port of Veracruz. He was Founding Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries of the University of Veracruz and Academic Secretary of the Institute of Marine Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Head of Scientific Support Division Fisheries Institute of Mexico.
He has taught courses in oceanography, marine ecology, fisheries management, marine pollution at the graduate level in Mexico and abroad. A been Director of over 20 thesis master’s and doctoral students.
He has studied in Mexico, Brazil, the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden, France. Recently on Sustainable Port Development.
He has represented Mexico at FAO and UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the Scientific Committe for Oceanic Research.
He has published numerous articles in scientifc journals and edited books on oceanography and marine biodiversity; coordinating the publication of an encyclopedia on the Sea.

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