Guyana’s burgeoning oil sector and expanding fisheries industry are attracting more maritime traffic in the country’s waters, according to the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD).
In fact, MARAD said more than 200 vessels were recorded entering local waters this year.
As such, the Department on Wednesday commissioned a new Maritime Safety Centre in New Amsterdam, East Berbice-Corentyne.
“The increased number of people in the country have also increased the number of speedboats that ply the rivers of Guyana.
“So, generally across the country we have, almost double the amount of traffic we had one year ago and that is the reason we seek the need to increase safety itself, and I must say we will be expanding the maritime sector,” Director of Maritime Safety Captain, John Flores said.
Captain Flores said vessel owners and operators would now be able to access services such as certification, renewal of sea fares, and compliance with national regulations right in their district.
Director of Ports and Harbours, Louise Williams, noted that, over the years, MARAD had commissioned other Maritime Safety Centres in Regions 1, 2, 7, with works in the pipeline for the construction of a similar facility in Region 10 in the first quarter of 2020.
“Persons in the fishing sector need to understand and practice safety on the waterways; it is important to have each vessel inspected properly, license and certified. Certification is also necessary for the captains for these vessels. It is also important that those in the sector also adhere to the importance of complying with stipulation regulations,” Williams noted.
MARAD is also distributing life jackets in riverain areas and running sensitisation campaigns with the fishing co-operatives to boost safety and compliance. [Extracted and Modified from the Department of Public Information]