Jamaica joins the rest of the world in observing the 10th anniversary of the Day of the Seafarer, which is observed globally on June 25.
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on Thursday, June 24, Dean of the Faculty of Marine and Nautical Studies at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Captain Devron Newman, explained that a number of activities will be held to mark the occasion.
Captain Newman, who is Chairman of the Day of the Seafarer Planning Committee said that a virtual panel discussion will be held on June 25 under the theme ‘Partnership and Collaboration, the Future of Seafaring’.
Panellists will include Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Rear Admiral Peter Brady; Superintendent of Pilotage at the Port Authority of Jamaica Dr. Hortense Ross-Innerarity, and Captain Newman.
Third Officer at Exmar Ship Management and CMU Alumnus, Garfield Allen, will also provide his perspective on the current realities facing seafarers across the globe.
The session will be moderated by CMU Director of Communications, Mr. Archibald Gordon.
Interested persons may contact the MAJ to register.
Captain Newman said the discussion will include the impact of partnerships on the welfare of seafarers.
“I would like to see more partnerships in terms of addressing some of the problems in the industry that’s affecting seafarers, particularly as they relate to training and placement of cadets on board ships, in terms of the availability of ships. If world trade shifts, shipping activity reduces and we will have fewer ships for our trainees to go on board to receive their training,” Captain Newman pointed out.
The Chairman said that both major local newspapers will carry messages from the Ministry of Transport and Mining and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to mark the day.
Videos have been captured from seafarers who are currently on ships at sea.
Captain Newman explained that the seafarers were asked to record a typical day, highlighting their activities. These, he said, are currently populating the CMU social media pages.
Tokens will also be given to local seafarers as well as seafarers on ships in the different ports around the island to show appreciation for their work.
Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Brady outlined that the aim of the Day of the Seafarer “is to highlight the work of these professionals at sea for our lives and livelihood”.
He pointed out that they are the ones who operate ships that bring valuable trade to the country.
“The economies of the world depend on trade by sea and about 80 per cent of global trade is taken by ships,” he said, adding that in the Caribbean the percentage is even higher.
“We depend far more on shipping because of our island nations and how we are situated, and in our case, over 90 per cent of our trade comes by sea,” the Director General said.
He noted that energy used for powering lights, computers and others is brought by ships in tankers. “The commodities, the food we eat, the medicines which we are now yearning for, especially for the COVID situation, all of these come by sea,” he pointed out, adding that it is important for persons to realise the very significant role that ships play in people’s lives on a daily basis.
More importantly, Rear Admiral Brady cited the worth of the men and women who operate them.