The strength of the Caribbean maritime sector depends very much on the successful implementation of international regulations, says the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ).
Welcoming delegates to a week-long workshop intended to share knowledge and best practice of IMO regulations and to boost Caribbean maritime co-operation, the Director General of the MAJ, Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady said: “Full and complete implementation of our treaty obligations require incorporating international maritime legislation in domestic law and investing in adequate human resources and facilities.”
Pointing out that Jamaica conducts 93% of its trade by sea, Admiral Brady said: “Maritime issues are of critical importance to the Caribbean States. Our countries are bordered by the Caribbean Sea and most of us are island States and we share the love and respect for these still yet pristine waters on which an enormously large amount of our trade and economic well-being depend.”
Highlighting the fact that the ‘Blue Economy’ both locally and globally depends on a well-regulated maritime transportation system, he said: “The livelihood of a significant number of Caribbean people therefore depends on the ships trading, also cruise tourism and inter-island transportation, but many also depend on fishing, various commodities and minerals including exploited hydro-carbons which all constitute the myriad benefits of our Blue Economy.”
“Our economies are so linked to the maritime domain that we must have in place comprehensive strategies, legislation and practice to provide for the sustainable use of the seas as a transportation corridor, for exploitation and extraction of resources in a carefully managed way. Such shipping must set safety and environmental standards consistent not only with our own situation but also circumscribed by the international standards promulgated by International Maritime Organization. After all shipping is an international business governed by international treaties, rules and standards to which we sign up.”
Admiral Brady highlighted the various IMO programmes and international projects which the Caribbean region’s maritime industry has benefited from, including boosting infrastructure and capacity building, protecting the environment and enhancing the training and diversity of seafarers.
“The IMO’s role in assisting the Caribbean Region over the years, greatly coordinated by the IMO Regional Maritime Adviser, to promote safe, secure environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping, has been immensely appreciated by our respective Caribbean States,” he said.
In an innovative approach, Maritime leaders, along with international and regional development agencies, have gathered in Kingston, Jamaica this week to participate in the first Caribbean Regional Knowledge Partnership Workshop on maritime technical cooperation activities, organised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in collaboration with the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ).
Representatives of maritime communities from Caricom States and overseas territories will share information on marine-related activities they are currently undertaking and communicate the best practice application of Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding.
The workshop aims to develop knowledge partnership mechanisms for development cooperation activities in the maritime field, to share IMO’s resource mobilization strategy and to seek possible cooperation opportunities.
Representatives from a number of agencies from across the Caribbean are attending the workshop, including Maritime Authorities of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.