Day of the Seafarer – A Message from Commander Mark Peterson
BDF Media Release| June 21
Photography: BDF Media
The contemporary security scene in the Caribbean is characterized by complexity, change, and challenge. These challenges can be manifested in its relatively large maritime geographic area, in addition to its vast interconnected sea lines of communication. The Caribbean Sea is ranked as one of the principal waterways in the world and covers an area of 2,515,900 square kilometres. In addition, the region dominates critical sea lines of communication, all converging at one of the world’s most prominent choke points, the Panama Canal. Therefore, increased maritime activities can pose a threat to coastal States as the region it is classified as having one of the most intensive maritime traffic sectors in the world.
The theme for 2021 Day of the Seafarer, “Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future,” seeks to increase the visibility of the seafarers by drawing attention to the invaluable role they play now and will continue to play in the future. With 71 percent of the earth’s surface covered by the sea, it is axiomatic that more than 90 percent of global trade is conducted by way of the world’s oceans. Ships ply regional and international waters in growing numbers, increasing the opportunities for exploitation of vessels and seafarers.
Thus, maritime security is pivotal to safeguarding international trade and preserving the safety of mariners. The areas from which ships and maritime operations need protecting include terrorism, piracy, robbery, illegal trafficking of goods and people, illegal fishing and pollution.
As the industry evolves and the Blue Economy grows, vigilance, enforcement, and training will have to keep up with technology and increased opportunity for threats. The Barbados Coast Guard shall play its part in creating a safe and secure maritime environment with emphasis on ensuring, in so far as is possible, that seafarers are better protected from the criminals that would do them harm, wherever threats are present. Through supervision, inspection and proactive procedures, the Barbados Coast Guard will continue its best to minimize threats to maritime safety and security.
HAPPY SEAFARER DAY
PER DEO, PER MARE!
Commander Mark Peterson is the Commanding Officer of the Barbados Coast Guard.