Jamaica Celebrates Its Strong Shipping Sector With Maritime Awareness Week.

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Jamaica will this week hold a series of events to highlight the breadth and importance of its maritime sector, aiming to encourage more young people to join this vibrant and fast-developing industry.

In Jamaica, the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) engages the maritime and supporting industries in celebrating a week of national activities called Maritime Awareness Week. The MAJ along with key partners such as Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL), Kingston Wharves Limited and Women in Maritime Association, Caribbean (WiMAC Ja) collaboratively host these activities.

Maritime Awareness Week will also encompass World Maritime Day on Thursday September 27 where the global shipping industry will recognise the work of the International Maritime Organization as it celebrates its 70th anniversary.

This nautical week began on Sunday (September 23rd) with a service at St Peter’s Anglican Church in Port Royal, Jamaica. Maritime Authority of Jamaica Director General, Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Peter Brady told invited guests from throughout the maritime community that Jamaicans “must collaborate to ensure that the gains we have made in the maritime sector are not lost but secured and that any future challenges in the sector are successfully negotiated and the sustainable goals achieved.” Professor Fritz Pinnock, President of Caribbean Maritime University was also in attendance and gave remarks.

On Monday (Sept 24th) a Technology and Innovation Day was held at the Jamaica College Auditorium in Kingston, where activities emphasised innovation and technology as essential catalysts for the development of maritime and related industries. A packed programme of competitions, displays, exhibits, demonstrations and presentations enabled potential students to explore career options in maritime, logistics, engineering and related areas.

Today (Tuesday 25th) heralds a two-day maritime exhibition which will run until Wednesday (Sept 26th) at the Caribbean Maritime University, Palisadoes Park, Kingston, to enable future students to explore career options in maritime, logistics, engineering and related areas. This free-to-attend event will include booth displays, campus tours, competitions, and even harbour tours. And in an exciting development there will be four competitions throughout the two days: Song/Band competition; Drill competition; Ship Model competition; and a Debate competition.

Students wishing to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the international shipping industry can join a Tour of Kingston Port on either Tuesday 25th or Wednesday 26th where they will see first-hand what goes on in this busy port. Places must be booked in advance – for more information please contact Caribbean Maritime University.

On Thursday (September 27th) Jamaica will join the global maritime community in celebrating World Maritime Day. In an exciting development, this day will also mark the official launch of the SeaPerch – WiMAC Project at the Caribbean Maritime University’s FACT Centre in Palisadoes Park. SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics programme that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting.

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica has worked with the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper to produce a Maritime Awareness Week supplement which will be circulated this week to a wide audience to raise awareness of the importance of Jamaica’s maritime sector.

This busy maritime week will conclude on Friday (Sept 28th) with the First Anniversary of the Caribbean Maritime University.

Rear Admiral Brady said:

“As we celebrate the IMO’s achievements, as a country we too must be proud of our maritime achievements, most notably our recent re-election to the IMO Council, the highest decision-making body of the Organization, the expansion of the programmes of the Caribbean Maritime University to meet further and current needs of the industry, and developments by Government and Shipping Association of Jamaica members in positioning the country as a location of choice for logistics activities.

“And as we reflect on these achievements, we also look forward to participating in the future of shipping, with the so called, “fourth industrial revolution” of artificial intelligence, robotics and the availability of new energy sources which are taking shipping into a new era.”

Highlighting how it is customary for the Jamaican shipping community to celebrate World Maritime Day and also commemorate Maritime Awareness Week with a series of activities, he said: “As we participate in the week’s activities let us consider also that the IMO and the maritime community have important roles to play in achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 14 to Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. This is one of the most ambitious and important initiatives of the United Nations, setting clear goals and targets to protect the planet and ensure prosperity and human rights.

“Let us continue to play our part in developing our vital shipping and logistics sectors while achieving the sustainable development goals as we look forward to Better Shipping for a Better Future,” Admiral Brady said.

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