Monika Breuch-Moritz (10/2017)

People of the German flag: Breuch-Moritz


Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH – in Hamburg and Rostock)



Education and professional career:

  • 1971 till 1976 degree in meteorology at the University of Bonn,
  • afterwards a trainee period at the German Meteorological Service till 1979.
  • From 1979 till 1988 at the Agrometeorological Branch Office Weihenstephan in Freising.
  • 1989 change to the Federal Ministry of Transport, which later became Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, for the department “Meteorological Service”.
  • From 1993 till 1995 in the department “Organisation”, from 1995 head of the department “Meteorological Service”.
  • From 1999 head of the department “Maritime Environmental Protection, Maritime Police, Port State Control, Pilotage”. In this role also responsible for the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH).
  • From 2007 head of the department “Climate and Environment Protection in the Maritime Industry, BSH”.
  • Since October 2008 president of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency


Traveling to distant countries and supporting maritime tradition – e.g. on board of trustees of the Rickmer Rickmers and in the circle of friends of the frigate Hamburg.

6 questions about the maritime sector and the German flag

My enthusiasm for meteorology and oceanography combined with my interest in life and work at sea, which I experienced through my father, drive my aspiration to experience and shape how this economic branch develops and how professions at sea change. Even with all the technological developments and – which fascinates me as meteorologist in particular – even with the ongoing development of weather forecasts, seafaring remains a professional branch where the unpredictability of the elements still affects economic success, environmental impacts and even life and death. To help shape and affect something with this is an incredibly exciting task.

Even during my time in the Ministry, where I was responsible for the German Meteorological Service, I always sought out close contact with authorities such as the Federal Institute of Hydrology, the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV) and most of all the BSH and increased the cooperation in the fields longterm surveillance systems, climate change and environmental protection. Adopting the role as head of the department “Maritime Transport” was much more application-oriented and therefore a real challenge. I was in considerably closer contact with customer groups having to work with rules and regulations, e.g. regarding environmental protection, as well as to associations representing economy, technology, maritime professions and environment protection.

It fascinates me to work on good rules and regulations for security and environmental protection and contribute to their implementation – even though I attach just as much importance to keeping economic progress possible.

The times have certainly become harder. But those who are really interested and committed will make their way, of that I am convinced. Goods will still have to be transported across the sea. 3-D printing will only become an alternative in particular segments.

Technical knowhow is important in all maritime professions as is the willingness to continually learn– like it is generally in the professional world nowadays. The tasks will change; this is something one has to be mentally open for.

The BSH is part of the Flag State Administration of Germany and so I am partly responsible as the head of this authority.

Aside from administrative duties, we, at the BSH, support high standards for the training of seafarers and are committed to security and environmental protection in marine traffic.

This is why it is important to us that Germany as Flag State influences the developments and will continue to play an important role in the IMO and IHO.

The German flag is highly respected internationally and has excellent port state control ratings.

As a strong constitutional state, because of its economic strength, with numerous bilateral maritime conventions and with a high density of representations abroad, the Federal Republic of Germany ensures a high level of legal certainty for ships under German flag, especially abroad.

With an extensive package of measures of the government, the German flag with its high subsidies and low fees has become an attractive alternative to others, especially European flags.

The Flag State Administration is on-site in Germany and available 24 hours a day.

The German merchant fleet still ranks among the best in a worldwide comparison. Accompanied with the political package of measures and a continually improving service quality of the German flag, it becomes increasingly interesting for shipping companies to operate ships under German flag.

An increasing amount of ships under German flag creates the conditions to profit from the package of measures and maybe to perpetuate them.

A strong German flag provides training and employment and adds to the preservation of maritime knowhow in our country. This is how German interests can still be successfully represented in future negotiations with the International Maritime Organisation IMO and in European committees.