Saint Lucia: SLASPA observes World Maritime Day
Saint Lucia: SLASPA observes World Maritime Day

Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA), through the Division of Maritime Affairs, is recognizing World Maritime Day under the theme – New Technologies for Greener Shipping.

As per the statistics of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), more than 80% of global trade continues to be transported by shipping, including essential commodities like food, medicine, and other necessities. New Technology for Greener Shipping emphasizes the need for inclusive innovation and new technologies to support the requirements for a greener transition in the maritime industry.

“This year’s theme also opens up a larger conversation about shipping’s direction and how technology can be harnessed for a more sustainable future,” said Secretary General of the IMO, Kitack Lim. He further stated, “It also provides an incentive to examine how digitalization and automation can support shipping. But technological solutions for cleaner, safer, and more sustainable shipping must also benefit people.”

To commemorate World Maritime Day, SLASPA’s Division of Maritime Affairs hosted a national maritime webinar on September 28, 2022. Leading the discussion was a panel of Maritime experts from a cross-section of the industry, including; Director of Maritime Affairs – Christopher Alexander, Maritime Consultant- Cuthbert Didier, and Deputy Director and Technical Head of the Maritime Technology Cooperation Center Captain Sukhjit Singh. The discussion endeavoured to emphasize the impact and relevance of the blue economy, outlining regional projects and initiatives geared toward greener shipping.

Director of Maritime Affairs – Christopher Alexander spoke about Saint Lucia’s strides to meet the IMO’s legal standards and requirements for greener shipping. He explained, “Green shipping involves steps taken by a ship to decrease the level of carbonization within the environment. As part of its obligations as a member state of the IMO, Saint Lucia has adopted various measures in terms of how we control ships within our harbour to ensure that they comply with these regulations.”

World Maritime Day calls for revisiting strategies and strengthening partnerships. Captain Sukhjit Singh says that “it sensitizes all involved on the need for more collaborations between agencies and administrations.” As a country, it forces us to lean out of the box while embracing innovative ways to adapt to the continuous changes in this diverse industry. According to Maritime Consultant Cuthbert Didier, “Collectively, we need to stay in line with the trends within the shipping industry, not as a single developing nation, but as the OECS, as CARICOM. We need to have a thrust that can push a paradigm shift, that encourages young people studying key areas involving technology whether its analytic data, fuel, renewable energies and so on.”

On this day, SLASPA salutes the efforts of the Division of Maritime Affairs and honours the hard work of the dedicated employees who serve as the cornerstones of this dynamic industry and affirms its commitment to creating a sector that supports cutting-edge technologies for greener shipping.