Antigua and Barbuda has modern national legislation, covering all aspects of safety, security and the requirements for cleaner oceans. It is a signatory of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC,2006) and, as a supporter of seafarers’ welfare, was keen to set up its own welfare board and become involved in the ISWAN International Port Welfare Partnership pilot project.
Following positive feedback from key organisations within the local maritime sector, the ADOMS team decided to contact ISWAN in order to join its pilot project and develop a welfare board, under the auspices of MLC, 2006.
Working in conjunction with ISWAN, Antigua and Barbuda held its inaugural meeting on board the cruise liner ‘Adventure of the Seas’, courtesy of Royal Caribbean Cruises, on 17th November. The successful meeting was attended by representatives from across the maritime sector including Unions, Ship owners, Maritime Administration, Port Authority, Immigration, Coast Guard, Fisheries and voluntary organisations.
A unique twin island maritime state, Antigua and Barbuda welcomes around 700 vessels per annum, over half of which are large cruise vessels. It is estimated that over 350,000 seafarers transit the islands ports annually. This does not include the thousands of crewmembers who regularly arrive on super yachts. The number of seafarers is expected to rise in line with the planned increase in cruise ship visits in 2016. St Johns is the main port with other vessel arrivals at the Sea Island Berth, Crabbs Peninsula, English, Falmouth and Jolly Harbour, and Barbuda.
ADOMS Marine Surveyor Darion Lake, himself an Antiguan Seafarer, was elected as chair and Mr Colin Plummer deputy chair for the first year. Ms Annabel Fuller, Executive Assistant to the Director of the Government Maritime Administration was elected PWC Administrator. The Unions, Port Authority and Ministry of Tourism kindly agreed to support subsequent meetings.
ISWAN is grateful to all those who participated in the first meeting and would like to thank the ADOMS team for acting as the local project liaison team.
The Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS) is the Maritime Administration of Antigua and Barbuda and operates its own registry competing in an internationally dynamic industry.