Despite difficult circumstances, Jamaican seafarers have been recognised for their contribution to global trade facilitation. Hon. Audley Shaw, Minister of Transport and Mining, says seafarers continue to provide essential services despite unprecedented and difficult conditions. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which tested their resolve, he said, highlighted the professionalism and sacrifice of seafarers who served the country by ensuring global supply and trade continued.
The Minister was speaking in the context of Saturday’s (June 25) International Day of the Seafarer, which had the theme ‘Your Voyage: Then and Now, Share Your Journey.’ The International Day of the Seafarer honours the men and women of the maritime industry who dedicate themselves to keeping world trade moving by facilitating the delivery of vital goods such as food, fuel, and medical supplies.
Minister Shaw’s Address
In his message marking the day, Mr Shaw thanked the seafarers for their tremendous contribution to local and global development. “As Minister with responsibility for maritime transport, I join millions across the world to acknowledge and commend our brave men and women who have laboured to make the maritime sector an important contributor to our nation. I urge you to continue doing what you do best. Your sacrifices and services have not gone unnoticed,” he said.
The Minister contended that the 2022 theme is relevant in light of the extraordinary circumstances seafarers have endured, especially since the pandemic’s onset, and how they have prevailed.
Mr Shaw stated that Jamaica recognised them as key essential workers and that the Ministry, through the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, will continue to provide them with the necessary support and assistance on and off the seas. He emphasised the shipping industry’s importance to the global economy, noting that it accounted for more than 90% of global trade. Food, fuel, raw materials, and manufactured goods are delivered by sea in an industry that employs thousands each year.