Heyliger congratulates maritime sector on international commemoration

POSTED: 09/29/11 2:08 PM

St. Maarten – Vice Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Harbour Affairs Theodore Heyliger congratulate the maritime sector, all those working in or who have retired from working in the sector on today’s observance of World Maritime Day. The international theme is “Piracy: Orchestrating the Response.”

“The maritime sector is very important to the country’s economy and everybody working in this sector plays a valuable role and makes an important contribution to our economy. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate you and say thank you for your hard work,” Heyliger said on Wednesday.

The yearly commemoration is led by the International Maritime Organization. It places focus on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO’s work.

Piracy is one of the major challenges facing the maritime industry.  The world piracy population is around two million.  Heightened piracy activity takes place near Eastern Africa in the vicinity of Somalia.

The IMO has been dealing with piracy for more than 30-years. According to the IMO, in the past 12-months, there have been 286 piracy-related incidents off the coast of Somalia, which have resulted in 67 hijacked ships, with 1, 130 seafarers on board. It has been estimated that piracy cost the world economy between $7 billion and $12 billion, as a result of the disruption to shipping services and international trade.

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