Recognising the importance of seafarers, Jamaica has added its voice to global celebration of the Day of the Seafarer with leading figures from its Government and maritime sector praising the dedication of the brave professionals who continue to deliver world trade, particularly during these difficult times.
Jamaica’s Minister of Transport and Mining, the Honourable Robert Montague MP, said: “We salute seafarers everywhere for their work and continue to do everything possible to support them as we navigate the challenges of this pandemic together. They have made us extremely proud.”
The Honourable Leslie Campbell, Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, praised “the important role that this brave cadre of professionals play in sustaining global trade” and recognised seafarers’ contribution to the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He commented: “Through their efforts, we have been able to maintain uninterrupted delivery of vital medicines and other critical supplies.”
Echoing their comments, Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, said: “We owe our brave and dedicated seafarers a debt of gratitude. Today, more than any other day, we celebrate the steadfastness of the men and women who go to sea. We thank them for their tireless work and we pledge to ensure they receive the recognition and support they are due.”
Please find below their full messages, delivered on the Day of the Seafarer, June 25.
Day of the Seafarer Message 2021 from the Hon. Robert Montague MP,
Minister of Transport and Mining
On the 25th of June, Jamaica joins the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Member States in recognition of the Day of the Seafarer, supporting and saluting our brave professionals who continue to deliver global trade, under the theme “A Fair Future for Seafarers”.
As we come together once more to acknowledge the work and worth of the numerous seafarers who, although faced with many difficulties, especially with the presence of the Covid-19 pandemic, still continue to provide critical services. This pandemic has allowed us to realise that our hard-at-work seafarers are making the ultimate sacrifice of self and family, while facing challenges with crew rotation, port access, repatriation, doubts about vaccinations and so much more. The adjustments have indeed been challenging, but they remain resilient and professional.
The Ministry of Transport and Mining salutes our dedicated seafarers who operate ships on the front line providing the various services necessary to run a complex mechanism such as the maritime sector. As the world battles the threats of the pandemic, we remain strong and highlight the importance of seafarers and the massive role they play in maintaining global trade through the transportation of essential foods, medicines, energy and other cargo. These workers are working extra months on the waters away from loved ones in order to maintain global supply channels.
The Government of Jamaica has taken strategic steps to support seafarers on pandemic-related and other challenges by amending the Shipping Act to incorporate the Maritime Labour Convention, giving protection to hardworking seafarers and also in bringing our cruise ship hospitality workers under the ‘seafarers’ banner. Additionally, we have reopened our borders to enable controlled entry and transit of crew, by designating seafarers as essential workers under the 2020 Disaster Risk Management Order in June 2020.
Jamaica has already positioned itself as a shipping hub with the investment in a crew change online platform which seafarers, crewing agencies and ship managers anywhere in the world can use to facilitate crew changes. To date Jamaica has facilitated over 3000 crew changes.
We do not only recognise the invaluable contribution to nation building by seafarers on this day, but all year long. We salute seafarers everywhere for their work and continue to do everything possible to support them as we navigate the challenges of this pandemic together. They have made us extremely proud.
Message From The Honourable Leslie Campbell, Minister of State,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
on the occasion of the Day of the Seafarer, 25th June 2021
Jamaica proudly joins the International Maritime Organization and its Member States in observing the Day of the Seafarer, celebrated this year under the theme, “Fair Future for Seafarers”.
The theme underscores the important role that this brave cadre of professionals play in sustaining global trade and recognises their contribution to the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Through their efforts, we have been able to maintain uninterrupted delivery of vital medicines and other critical supplies. With nearly ninety percent of the world’s food, fuel, raw materials and manufactured goods delivered by sea, the seafaring community is a fundamental partner in our march towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Developing Goals.
Despite their importance to the global economy and to the livelihoods of billions of people, seafarers are among the most high-risk categories of international workers. Not only did the pandemic leave countless seafarers stranded at sea due to travel restrictions, it highlighted their exposure to extreme health hazards, risk of labour exploitation and abuse and the need for stronger social protection in the maritime industry. It is therefore vital that the international community demonstrate greater solidarity in recognizing seafarers as key workers, and urgently strive to promote and protect their rights and improve their working conditions.
Closer to home, as we celebrate Day of the Seafarer 2021, it is important to recognize the indelible contribution of our very own Jamaican seafarers, cruise shipping and hospitality sector workers, sailors, and various other professionals.
In this regard, I recognize and applaud the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), which celebrates its 40th year of existence. The CMU continues to deliver training and certification of seafarers, consistently in line with the highest international standards, taking account of our seafarers’ important responsibility in protecting the marine environment and the planet. The Caribbean Maritime University continues to provide countless young Jamaicans and other professionals with opportunities in the international shipping, logistics and maritime industry. In so doing, it continues to directly support Jamaica’s economic growth and job creation agenda.
As a Small Island Developing State, strategically poised to become an important logistics hub within the hemisphere, maritime shipping will increasingly become the lifeline of our economic development.
As we honour our seafarers this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade renews its commitment to work diligently within the IMO and other international fora, to secure a sustainable and fairer future for our courageous seafarers, on whom we so greatly depend.
Day of the Seafarer statement from Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady,
Director General, Maritime Authority of Jamaica
Today as we mark the annual international Day of the Seafarer, our world is a very different place. Ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, all of us have experienced difficulties, hardships and losses. As a global community we have joined forces and supported each other to overcome this monumental threat.
Seafarers have been at the heart of world-wide efforts to cope with and produce effectively during the pandemic. While much of the world shut its doors and its borders, and locked down to minimise risk, our seafarers went about their essential daily business to ensure everyone all over the globe was supplied with the goods and commodities they needed – food, energy, medicines, clothing, household goods, manufacturing materials etc.
To maintain the global supply chain, these seafarers were away from home for many long months, often over and above their contracted duration, missing loved ones and unable to help when illness struck in their own communities. They have endured rigid emergency measures and border controls which severely restricted their ability to travel to and from their ships as well as preventing shore leave and even visits for medical care or welfare support.
We owe our brave and dedicated seafarers a debt of gratitude. Today, more than any other day, we celebrate the steadfastness of the men and women who go to sea. We thank them for their tireless work and we pledge to ensure they receive the recognition and support they are due.
The theme of this year’s Day of the Seafarer is “A Fair Future For Seafarers”. Jamaica will continue to work with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), our Caribbean partners, and with industry stakeholders to ensure our seafarers have both fair treatment and a positive future.
In accordance with the recommendations of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN specialized agency with responsibility for maritime safety and security and the prevention of marine pollution by ships including by air emissions, Jamaica has designated seafarers as ‘essential workers’ and we call on all nations to do the same. As an IMO Council member, Jamaica is fully supportive of international regulations which protect the rights of seafarers and ensure their safety. We have enshrined the Maritime Labour Convention within Jamaica’s Shipping Act, and we are committed to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, including measures to boost gender equality and equity and to support the careers of women seafarers and others within our maritime community at large.
In addition, the Maritime Authority of Jamaica has invested in a crew change online platform which seafarers, crewing agencies, and ship managers anywhere in the world can use to facilitate crew changes through special corridors at our borders and which has already processed and facilitated more than 3000 crew changes.
Looking to the future, the next generation will benefit particularly from the excellent training to the highest international standards which is provided by the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) – this year celebrating its 40th year of existence. CMU provides hundreds of young Jamaicans and other professionals with opportunities in the maritime industry, international shipping, and associated careers, preparing them for successful positions and equipping them with the skills needed to thrive at sea and in allied shore-based jobs.