Security matters take centre stage on April 14th and 15th when the Maritime Authority of Jamaica joined forces with Canadian experts to develop a comprehensive national security strategy.

The two-day Jamaica-Canada Maritime Security Policy Workshop took place in Kingston. Experts throughout the maritime security industry and leading members of the Jamaican shipping industry and related businesses discussed in detail maritime security policy, including legal frameworks, training measures, implementation strategies and futurepolicies. 

They heard from a variety of Canadian representatives on several key aspects of Canada's marine security regime, including the Marine and Ports Branch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Representing Jamaica were officials from the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, the Port Authority of Jamaica, Port Security Corps, JDF Coast Guard, JCF Marine Operations and Jamaica Customs, together with a number of leading Jamaican maritime business leaders.

Commenting on the importance of the workshop, Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry said that Jamaica stood to reap great benefits from the synergies that would be forged.

“Jamaica being an island state depends on imports and exports by sea (up to 90%)and has to satisfy international maritime conventions that are in place, including security arrangements which are consistent with international rules and regulations; against this background, I welcome this workshop and look forward to mutually beneficial discourse and positive outcomes,” the Minister added.

And in a keynote speech, Canada's High Commissioner to Jamaica, Stephen Hallihan, outlined Canada's programmes in Jamaica. Valerie Simpson, Director of Policy for the Jamaican Ministry of Transport and Works was also in attendance at the event.

Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, said: "As Jamaica advances towards its goal of becoming a maritime centre, this workshop is important to help us further develop and enhance all aspects of security within Jamaica's maritime industry and to share best practice. I am looking forward to some lively debates and significant outcomes."

Delegates also enjoyed a reception at the Canadian High Commission as guests of the High Commissioner.