**Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, M.P.,
Minister of Transport and Aviation**

Addressing the 29th Annual Interferry Conference, recently held in Grand Bahama, Minister Hanna-Martin pointed out that ferry transportation plays a fundamental role in marine transportation worldwide. Maritime transportation, in turn, is vitally important to the economic and social well-being of The Bahamas.

In this connection, her presentation to the annual conference focussed on the necessity of maintaining the highest standards in terms of quality service, safety and security and took the opportunity to highlight some of the evidence pointing to how well the nation has met the challenges of all three.

With the third largest ship registry in the world (over 35 million gross tons on record), The Bahamas continues to attract quality vessels, adhering to all relevant IMO conventions. The Bahamas recognises its responsibility for all ships flying its flag, and ensures that owners fulfil obligations with regard to safety of ship and crew, as well as the protection of the environment. *”The service provided to owners is both flexible and responsive, but at the same time rigorous in its maintenance of internationally established standards,”* says Minister Hanna-Martin.

The Bahamas’ port state detention rates continue to be well below the world average – concrete evidence of effective performance when its ships are inspected by other port states.

Now ranked as the third highest financial contributor to the International Maritime Organisation, The Bahamas continues to play an active role within this international body charged with promoting maritime safety. The Ship Registry is managed by the Bahamas Maritime Authority, which maintains offices in Nassau, London and New York. The policy for the BMA in terms of sector development continues to be “growth with quality”.