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Published 25th September 2014, 4:15pm

"He hath founded it upon the seas" is a statement steeped in Caymanian history and the tradition of relying upon the sea for sustenance, commerce, transportation and dreams.

World Maritime Day is celebrated today, 25 September and I welcome the people of the Cayman Islands to not only celebrate our seafaring and shipbuilding history and culture, but to also consider the ongoing importance of the global maritime industry to these islands.

World Maritime Day was established in 2005 by the International Maritime Organization to celebrate the challenges and the importance of maritime issues in the global economy, focusing primarily on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment. They established the theme for this year "Conventions - Effective Implementations" to reflect the urgent need of all states to adopt the measures that will make shipping safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

As a small island nation, Cayman's link with the sea is inextricable. We have a vested interest and a responsibility to implement the conventions and measures of the International Maritime Organization, and the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands has earned significant global recognition in so doing. For this they are to be commended, particularly on this day.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Kilpatrick, CB

Published 25th September 2014, 3:47pm

In Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, Rat famously says to Mole: "Believe me my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats".

The sea and all things maritime are deeply entrenched in our culture. Our fathers and grandfathers went to sea to earn a living as merchant mariners and fishermen. Some of these men were shipbuilders before the war. It was our forefathers who developed the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry over 110 years ago, which has been a significant contributor to Cayman's economy and international reputation. Registry staff dedicate their tireless efforts in promoting the Red Ensign and the superior quality standard that the flag represents.

The Cayman Islands Government and the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands have a vision of developing Cayman into a model international maritime centre. This is a lofty goal, but one that we see as attainable and beneficial to all. It will work to reduce our dependency on financial services and tourism as the two main pillars of our economy, but even more importantly, it will provide for specialised careers for our young people - human resources, transportation logistics, communications, naval architecture, surveying and research and development.

Although in Cayman we understand our dependency on shipping to bring us the goods that we consume every day, few people elsewhere understand that more than 90 per cent of the world's trade is transported by ship. With Cayman ideally situated geographically in the main shipping routes, we have an opportunity to develop this industry here that simply cannot be passed up.

Let us celebrate World Maritime Day and all that is our history and our culture and let's also celebrate World Maritime Day for the future and for more opportunities for young Caymanians.

Yours sincerely,

G. Wayne Panton, MLA

 

For more information, please contact the Financial Services Secretariat at (345) 945-5819 or via email at financepr@gov.ky.