The General Organisation of Sea Ports reinforced its commitment to seafarers and the maritime community by recognising their unique contribution to bolster the Kingdom’s maritime industry.
As an advocate to upholding the rights and privileges of seafarers, the GOP has undertaken several initiatives over the past years to promote the welfare of the seafarers and to make shipping a better and safer industry. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has officially announced 25th June as the international „Day of the Seafarer‟ every year, and this year’s theme focuses on paying tribute to the enormous contribution of the more than 1.5 million seafarers around the world via social media. Over the past two years, the GOP has been actively involved in communicating with stakeholders through social media. The Bahrain Maritime Festival (BMF), a week-long event conceptualized by the GOP to celebrate World Maritime Day (WMD), aims at showcasing Bahrain’s achievements in the maritime and shipping sectors, and have successfully engaged the public via the dedicated “Bahrain Maritime Festival” Facebook page and Twitter feed, @BMFBahrain. Additionally, the GOP actively engages with stakeholders through a separate Twitter feed, @GOPBahrain, which focuses on holding a running dialogue on the Organisation as a whole, as well as its plans, initiatives, and news, both corporate and industry related.
In addition to interacting regularly with stakeholders through social media and spreading awareness of the seafaring community and the industry as a whole, the GOP also recognised more than 50 Bahraini seafarers who served the industry for twenty years or more, honouring them during an awards ceremony held as part of the inaugural Bahrain Maritime Festival (BMF) in 2010. The awards recognised the indispensable services of the local seafarers.
Another significant milestone occurred in 2011, when the GOP fulfilled its commitment to the seafarer and maritime community during the inaugural Bahrain Maritime Festival with the completion of the new Seafarers’ Center, located at the state-of-the-art Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP). The new Seafarers’ Centre was developed to provide seafarers with various amenities, services and support for rest and relaxation while calling at the port, as well as office space for the Bahrain International Seafarers Society (BISS).
Commenting on the announcement, Hassan Ali Al Majed, Director General of GOP said; “The ‘Day of the Seafarer’ is a very important day for all of us here at the GOP, and we would like to recognise the indispensible services our seafarers provide, which positively impact each of our lives on a daily basis. For this reason, we would like to encourage people to participate in the IMO‟s initiative this year, which is aimed at vocalising that recognition and appreciation through social media.
“Bahrain has a deeply ingrained seafaring tradition, stretching back to the days of the pearl divers for which the Kingdom is well known. We at GOP would like to commemorate their hard work, their commitment and their dedication to bolstering the Kingdom of Bahrain‟s maritime and shipping industry.”
Mr. Ali Haji, president of Bahrain International Seafarers Committee also commented saying “I would like to take this opportunity thank the General Organisation of Seaports for the various initiatives that caters to the needs of seafarers, including the seafarers centre in KBSP. Since its launch in December last year, more than 3000 seafarers from different countries visited the centre who expressed their satisfaction with the building that is equipped with the latest technologies in accordance to the highest international standards, which they did not often see in the other countries they have visited.”
Source: GOP, June 26, 2012