Seafarers must continue to be seen as the ‘heart and soul’ of the shipping industry and the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) will continue to support initiatives which work to enhance seafarers’ skills and competencies onboard ship and ashore, according to MAJ Director-General, Rear Admiral Peter Brady.
As part of his continued focus on seafarers at the MAJ, Rear Admiral Brady led celebrations in June for the Day of the Seafarer by hosting a reception for veteran and current seafarers. Addressing guests, he spoke about the opportunities that a career in seafaring holds, and pointed out that Jamaica’s long history of seafaring makes it an important seafaring centre.
“Today we not only say thanks to seafarers past and present for their tireless efforts over the centuries, but we remember the remarkable role seafarers play in the global economy. We are committed to raising the profile of seafarers, especially in countries like Jamaica where seafarers are central to our maritime heritage.
“As we celebrate the theme ‘Seafarers Matter’ we are reminded that Jamaica produces first class seafarers who train at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and are examined by and issued with international Certificates of Competency by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica,” Rear Admiral Brady told guests.
The MAJ has always had support from the Jamaican Government, and this year welcomes the comments made by the Hon. L M Henry, Minister of Transport and Mining, honouring The Day of the Seafarer. The Minister praised seafarers when he said: “Jamaica joins the rest of the world in recognizing the value and worth of seafarers who operate the ships under very arduous weather conditions and remain for long periods away from home, while the average person is unaware of the contribution being made every day by them. The theme of this year’s International Seafarers Day, ‘Seafarers Matter’ is therefore very appropriate in bringing the message of these professionals to the average person who takes for granted, the availability of electricity, mobile phones, motorcars, food of every kind, building materials and just about every item used in our lives.
“My Ministry is proud of the contribution these two agencies are making to guarantee the throughput of highly competent seafarers who sail on internationally trading ships all over the world demonstrating Jamaica’s contribution to the safe, secure and environmentally sound operation of all types of ships, day and night on our planet. It is worth mentioning in this message that we have just deposited our instrument of accession for the Maritime Labour Convention at the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland. This international treaty is the Seafarer’s virtual “Bill of Rights” which will soon be enshrined into our Shipping Act which will be amended accordingly. This legislation will take care of the welfare issues of the seafarer including wages, health, working and living conditions among other tenets.”