Maritime Sector Vital Contributor To Barbados’ Socio-Economy

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, believes that the maritime sector is important to the socio-economic well-being of Barbados.

Mr. Gooding-Edghill was speaking last evening after day one of the Third Regional Meeting of Directors and Heads of Maritime Administrations (DIHMAR) held at the Accra Beach and Spa, Rockley, Christ Church.

He noted that since its last engagement with DIHMAR in 2017, formerly known as the Regional Senior Maritime Administrators Workshop, Barbados had been involved in a number of wide-ranging exercises. 

These efforts, he said, are aimed at enhancing the ability of the administration of the international transport sector to effectively perform its duties to help Barbados achieve an economically viable, ecologically sustainable, safe, secure and efficient maritime sector, which is vital to the lives and livelihoods of the island’s people.

“This sector is a vital contributor to the socio-economic well-being of our states. Shipping transports most of the goods and products that we require for daily living.  In addition, we cannot underestimate the role the maritime sector plays in providing a livelihood for our citizens involved in the fishing and watersports industries and from a tourism point of view, the transportation of visitors to our shore via cruise lines,” the Minister said.

Mr. Gooding-Edghill disclosed that supporting legislative frameworks had already been designed to facilitate the continued advancement of Barbados’ small vessel sector and watersports community, the international sea-going merchant shipping sector, the seafaring industry, and other related maritime industries, such as the seaport and marine insurance industries.

He added that the Shipping (Domestic) Vessels Bill, “which aims to ensure that vessel-related and watersports activities in Barbados are conducted in a safe, secure and sustainable manner” would soon be laid before Parliament.

Minister Gooding-Edghill said that Barbados is grateful for the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Technical Cooperation Programme, which had provided numerous national and regional workshops and consultancies, from which this country had benefitted.

He assured attendees that Barbados remains committed to the ideals of the IMO, which is to provide safe, secure, and efficient shipping on clean oceans. 

Head of Latin America and Caribbean Section, Sub-division of Maritime Development, Technical Cooperation and Implementation Division, IMO, Carlos Salgado, noted that the meeting was being held at a time when the sector was at a critical juncture.

“As we gather here today, we stand at the crossroads of tradition and innovation, where our collective expertise and dedication will shape the future of maritime affairs in the region…. This regional meeting is a testament to our collaborative spirit and a mutual desire to strengthen maritime governance and practices across the Caribbean,” Mr. Salgado said.