The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) and the Bahamas Shipowners Association are offering scholarships to academically sound young Bahamians keen on training for an exciting and challenging career in the maritime industry.

The scholarship programme includes tuition, fees, course material, accommodation and transportation costs. Successful candidates will follow a 4-year degree programme, starting in September 2006, at the California Maritime Academy, a unique campus of the California State University. Upon completion of the degree, the qualified officers will be expected to serve on board a Bahamian flagged vessel for at least 2 years, providing the solid foundation on which to build their maritime careers.

Details on the scholarships may be obtained from BMA’s offices in Nassau.

The maritime industry increasingly is gaining national importance, and the BMA wants to ensure the people power necessary for its success going forward. 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 of Transport, Glenys 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.

Ranked among the top financial contributors to the International Maritime Organisation, The Bahamas continues to play an active role within this international body charged with promoting maritime safety.

The Bahamas Maritime Authority describes its sector development policy as “growth with quality”.