MARAD, Chile collaborate to host port security seminar


Several coast guard and law enforcement officers are set to receive advanced training in enhancing port surveys and shoreline security, following the opening of a port security seminar on Monday.

The five-day session, which is a collaboration between the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and DIRECTEMAR Chile, is being held at the Coast Guard Training Centre in Kingston, Georgetown.

During the opening ceremony, MARAD’s Director General, Captain Stephen Thomas stressed the importance of equipping persons with advanced skills, specifically coast guards, as port security is key for Guyana.

“These efforts are not only about more cameras and higher fences and more hardware, but the most important aspect for us is having properly trained port security personnel,” the director general stated.

Captain Thomas explained that as Guyana fosters bilateral ties with more countries, trade is expected to expand, and the ocean is a form of transportation for goods and services.

“Guyana is a country that depends on about 90 per cent of our trade via ships, in addition to our international obligations. So, port security is crucial to our survival and economic being,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Captain Pablo Ferrada of Chile said the collaboration between the two countries is necessary due to the ongoing economic transformation of Guyana. He believes that the seminar would also strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

“This seminar is an exceptional opportunity for mutual learning, experience sharing, and strengthening our capacities in port security. Through strategic reflection and dialogue, I hope that together we can identify and overcome challenges and threats in our sector,” the Chile captain underscored.

The port security conference is part of World Maritime Week which is being celebrated under the theme ‘Marpol at 50.’