The Caribbean Marine Association is looking to boost membership and grow influence throughout the archipelago by enhancing its role with regard to economic, environmental and industry-related issues.
The regional maritime association is recruiting a full-time administrator and eyeing a permanent secretariat to advocate on its behalf, said John Duffy, acting CMA president. Mr. Duffy also said the organisation is keen to expand representation beyond the existing eight national groups with a membership drive and implement an annual fundraiser.
The CMA is a regional association geared toward the development of the yachting industry within the Caribbean.
The eight national member associations are from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Grenda, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. A total 37 Caribbean countries are eligible to join the organisation.
The CMA secretariat is hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association.
“By maintaining a fully functioning secretariat, the CMA will gain momentum in its voice and capacity to undertake its core initiatives for the future,” Mr. Duffy said. “As the regional voice for the marine industry, the CMA needs to increase its visibility as well as develop strategic partnerships with key agencies in the region.”
The organisation endorses policy to protect and preserve marine life. In that capacity, the group aims to initiate programmes for the development of moorings in sensitive areas; advocate to ban Tribultylin antifouling and support alternative chemicals; utilise ecologically responsible holding tanks; and for marinas to bilge pump out facilities for yachts.
Throughout the Caribbean, the marine industry also contributes heavily to the local economies.
“As well as an income generator, the CMA seeks to ensure that there are increased employment opportunities for Caribbean nationals in this area,” Mr. Duffy said. “Through strategic partnerships with key marine training institutions in the Caribbean, the CMA will seek to identify specific and relevant areas of training for the industry, such as crew training, engine repair and safety courses.”
There are four categories of membership within the Caribbean Marine Association – full members comprising national marine associations; as well as businesses, individual and honorary members.