Minister of International Business and International Development, George Hutson. (FP)

Minister of International Business and International Development, George Hutson, has ensured Barbadians that measures are being put in place to protect our waters and ships from acts of piracy.????

"Piracy is not new to the Caribbean. For many of us, however, it is something we read about in our Caribbean history books.?? This century has spawned a new breed of pirate’s and armed robbers who prey upon merchant ships, including the largest super tankers, with almost impunity in many of the world’s busiest and most important shipping lanes," Mr. Hutson explained.?? He was speaking at a church service to commemorate the start of Maritime Week yesterday at the Holetown Methodist Church.

The theme for this year’s week of activities is Piracy – Caribbean Issues of Safety and Security and Mr. Hutson stressed the importance of safety at sea, highlighting that 90 per cent of the world’s trade in goods is transported by sea.?? The Minister noted there would be a ripple effect of piracy felt through the unavailability and increased costs of products transported by sea, due to increased freight and insurance costs.

He pointed out that Barbados has, therefore, implemented provisions relating to the international conventions that seek to prevent unlawful acts and threats against the safety of maritime navigation and life at sea.

The Minister of International Transport mentioned that one such provision was the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. ??He explained that the code gives responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel to detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.

Mr. Hutson also added, "Our Ministry, which includes the Barbados Port [Inc.], works closely with the Barbados Coast Guard and the Royal Barbados Police Force to ensure that commercial and leisure activities within our waters occur in a safe and secure environment."??


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