Tourism Minister Outlines Plans For Maritime Sector

Plans for Barbados’ maritime sector involve new greening legislation and a dedicated boat repair facility.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, and Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Port Inc. (BPI), David Jean-Marie, disclosed some of those plans during the presentation of the Minister’s Award of Maritime Excellence for 2022 to two Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology students, at the Ministry’s headquarters, One Barbados Place, Warrens, St. Michael.

Minister Gooding-Edghill shared that the Ministry, in keeping with the International Maritime Organization’s initiative for a greener transition of the shipping sector, would soon bring a set of legislation geared towards greening the island’s shipping sector. 

“I would shortly be laying before the House of Parliament for enactment of the Marine Transport (Emissions Control) suite of legislation, which seeks to green the shipping sector in several areas, for example the promotion of energy-efficient systems and the reduction of carbon emissions and other gases caused by the combustion of fuels in the atmosphere. 

“I am fully persuaded that with the introduction of new approaches and the technologies available, the shipping sector can have a positive impact on the environment whilst at the same time recognising that this must not come at the expense of our human capital, but must rather be complementary in their synergistic application,” the International Transport Minister stated.

He noted that the enactment of legislation, once passed in both Houses, would help to position the island’s maritime sector towards a sustainable future predicated on the principles of maritime innovation, research and development, and the deployment and demonstration of new technologies, which would assist in mitigating the negative environmental and societal impacts on the sector, such as climate change issues.

Minister Gooding-Edghill stressed that securing a sustainable maritime sector requires a holistic approach by all maritime partners, that must address maritime infrastructure, effective regulatory and legislative regimes, the protection of workers, and based upon a competent and skilled cadre of maritime professionals, who can conceive, develop and implement programmes that would position Barbados at the forefront of the maritime industry within the region. 

“My Ministry is committed to working with the stakeholders and educational institutions to build this capacity,” Minister Gooding-Edghill declared. 

Regarding the dedicated boat repair facility, BPI’s CEO, Mr. Jean-Marie, said: “In keeping with our master plan, approximately 4.5 acres of land along the Mighty Grynner Highway have been allocated for the development of a boat repair facility.  The facility will meet the needs of the local boating sector and save vital revenue as boat owners will be able to service their craft in Barbados rather than taking them off-island annually.”

He added that the facility would service local as well as transient commercial and recreational vessels for short and long-term maintenance, repair and overhaul needs, including emergency haul-out and repair, and provide physical resources and services to support resilient, independent and economically productive commercial, recreational, research and safety/security marine-dependent activities.