BMA watermark crest

BMA attends the National Workshop for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments

Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, recently hosted the National Workshop relating to the implementation of requirements of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention).   

Taking place at the National Training Agency and organised by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Center-Caribe (RAC-REMPEITC), the three-day workshop was held between 31 October and 2 November.

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) was represented by Technical Officers Larez Pinder and Kenneth Carey. They were joined by 28 other participants from 12 different Government and Non-Government organisations:  The Port Department; Bahamas Maritime Authority; Department of Environmental Planning and Protection; Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation; Department of Marine Resources; Office of the Attorney General; Royal Bahamas Defence Force; Nassau Cruise Port; Bradford Marine – Grand Bahama; Freeport Container Port; and Grand Bahama Shipyard.

The workshop itself served to familiarise participants with the BWM Convention and focused mainly on the port and coastal state obligations. Specific items examined included: IMO’s integrated technical cooperation programme; the threats of ballast water management and the BWM Convention to national agencies; the rights and obligations of flag, port and coastal states; relevant survey and certification requirements; and, not least, port state control compliance, monitoring and enforcement, with a focus on ballast water sampling.

The two BMA representatives found the event extremely informative and they had many discussions with other participants where experiences were shared which will assist in The Bahamas effective implementation of the BWM requirements.  The Bahamas remains committed to the UN sustainability development goals (SDG) including SDG 14, life below the sea,  IMO’s objective of environmentally sound shipping and the protection of The Bahamas pristine waters from invasive species