In a farewell note Mitsatsos said he was proud of the non-profit association’s work to date, noting that under successive chairmen and boards the secretariat had “worked with volunteer members to increase the industry’s sensitivity to the marine environment,” in the process winning Helmepa “a place of respect” within world shipping.
“Moral and tangible support for this unique and groundbreaking voluntary initiative of Greek seafarers and shipowners has come from many quarters,” he added, going on list some of Helmepa’s most important supporters.
Posidonia chairman and Seatrade founder Themistocles Vokos paid personal tribute to the departing director general as follows: “When the founder of Helmepa, George P Livanos, came up with his vision to ‘save the seas’, he chose the right man to be its director general. Dimitris Mitsatsos, who had served with distinction in the Greek navy, has worked tirelessly in that role for almost 40 years under successive chairmen, to pursue the objectives of the organisation within the Greek shipping community and around the world.
“His leadership is at the centre of the outstanding success of this organisation and of its mission to protect the seas.
“Helmepa was an inaugural member of the independent judging panel for the Seatrade Awards, and I would like to express my appreciation and thanks for his unstinting support for the project.
“As ‘team Posidonia’ we also had the privilege of working closely with Dimitri Mitsatsos and Helmepa, who were instrumental in broadening the scope of Posidonia by highlighting the importance of environmental issues, early on, through their participation at the exhibition and through our conference programmes.
“In addition to its important work within the maritime industry, Helmepa’s efforts with schools and young people throughout Greece have raised the awareness of a whole generation and propelled them to active engagement in projects protecting our seas and the environment. This is a legacy that Dimitri Mitsatsos can be truly proud of.
“We are looking forward to Dimitri’s continued contribution to the causes that have inspired him over all these years.”