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Jun 20, 2019

Day of the Seafarer: “I am onboard with Gender Equality

June twenty-fifth is recognized annually across the world as the “Day of the Seafarer.” This year’s theme is “I am onboard with Gender Equality.” It is used to raise awareness on the importance of seafarers onboard ships. Today, a News Five crew joined members of the Belize Maritime Authorities onboard the Carnival Miracle where the captain was presented with a plaque before the delegation was taken on a tour to see the various roles both women and men play onboard a ship.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Today, the Carnival Miracle called to port in Belize City. With thousands of passengers onboard and a crew of over nine hundred from ten different nations, it was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the Day of the Seafarer. The Belize Maritime Authorities commemorated the occasion with a visit and tour of the floating luxury hotel, honouring seafarers as the ship arrived in Belizean waters.


Edmond Staine

Edmond Staine, Seafarers Manager, IMMARBE

“Every year, the IMO, which is the International Maritime Organization, come out with this huge campaign to try to tackle one issue that the seafarers may be facing. This year’s campaign is based on gender equality so we are looking at “I am onboard with Gender Equality.”  As a responsible flag state, we are answerable to the IMO and we try as much as possible to support whatever it is that IMO is promoting. They are the ones that give us the authority to do what we do.”


Belizean seafarers, including port state control officers, a port commissioner and a deputy registrar of ships; majority of these positions are held by women. Public Relations Manager of the Belize Port Authority, Stacie Swift says that the theme is in line with the message for World Maritime Day, which will be celebrated later this year.


Stacie Swift

Stacie Swift, Public Relations Manager, Belize Port Authority

“We also want to set the stage for World Maritime Day coming up on the twenty-sixth of September whereby the theme is empowering women in the maritime industry. We are really focusing on promoting women in the maritime sector. In 2015, Belize Port Authority and Belize joined other Caribbean countries and we formed a Women in Maritime Association in the Caribbean. So we are trying as much as we can to empower other women in the Caribbean and also to empower other young girls coming up as well.”


…and there are so many opportunities in terms of the maritime industry. Human Resources Director Michelle Lockhart says that gone are the days where women’s roles are relegated to janitorial duties.


Michelle Lockhart

Michelle Lockhart, Human Resources Director, Carnival Miracle

“Truly you will see and find women of all nationalities in every role. It’s not just for men anymore. Ladies please apply. Carnival along with the other cruise lines, we all have positions of power or role—not with just deck and engine, but on the hotel side, we have female hotel directors, human resources directors, food operation managers—people with department head roles of ladies of all nationalities.”


As part of its commitment, Belize is looking to establish a Maritime Administration that will bring together relevant agencies: the Belize International Ship Registry, the Belize Port Authority and the Belize Coast Guard among others to ensure that Belize is complaint with the international convention which it has ratified.


Edmond Staine

“Belize is in its infancy stage….I mean we have a maritime sector, but it is not developed to the point where it is maximized in its usage. One of the primary steps would be for us to have a maritime training centre so that people can actually go and specialize themselves for all the top ten maritime fields. We need more maritime lawyers, maritime brokers, we need more auditors. So there are a lot of fields that have not even been exploited in Belize. So there is great potential for Belize to actually tap into this market and generate surmountable amount of monies.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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