That is according to Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Skerritt who was speaking at a stakeholders consultation aimed at establishing a National Maritime Policy and Action Plan.
“We have successfully trained a St. Kitts and Nevis Maritime Boundary Delimitation Negotiating Team to commence negotiations with the neighbouring states; ratified the ILO Maritime Labour Convention for better treatment of Seafarers, secured scholarships for the training of 2 Maritime Lawyers at the IMO Maritime Law Institute in Malta and conducted training for local Boat Masters,” said Mr. Skerritt.
The Department of Maritime Affairs, which is managed by its Director, Mr. Mc Clean Hobson has also entered into over 20 memoranda of understanding with other states to recognize Seafarers certificates, invested in State of the art software to check the authenticity of Seafarers certificates on line and ensured that St. Kitts and Nevis became a party to the UNESCO Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention to protect the underwater cultural heritage of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The department will also ensure that port facilities in St. Kitts and Nevis continue to meet the requirements of the ISPS Code, actively pursue the development of local hydrographs to better facilitate maritime trade in St. Kitts and Nevis and put plans in place to address the issues of the discharge of ballast water.
The Department of Maritime Affairs is also in the process of giving effect locally to the Standard of Training, Certification, and Watch Keeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention to create training standards for St. Kitts and Nevis seafarers and is partnering with the Department of Marine Resources and the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) to establish a maritime education and training course at the CFBC.