An Institute of the sea for the Central American Region: a proposal for the creation of a maritime education ...
Date of Award
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Maritime Education & Training
The Central American region is composed by seven countries Guatemala, Belize,' Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama with a huge marine riches in both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. All these countries have almost the same background historically, culturally, ethnically and with the same language. Maritime development has been very slow in the region because almost all the countries have given more importance to agricultural activities. There has been little interest by the regional governments in developing this important sector for the regional's economy. The principal reason is this is probably the lack of maritime training facilities in the region and consequently the lack of well qualified seafarers for the maritime industry to develop. Maritime tradition is an important factor that has to be considered but actually with new ship development and modern navigation systems using satellites and other aids life at sea has become more technological than some years ago. There are several reasons for the establishment of a maritime training institute in the region. For instance, it is possible to point out that almost all countries in the region are using foreigner merchant fleets to carry regional goods for exports as well for imports. The fishing industry could be modernized and its ancillary industry could grow to provide employment to thousands of regional workers. Although there are new port terminals in the region there is a lack of knowledge in the carriage of goods which could produce serious casualties and the inconvenience of maritime pollution. Taking into consideration all these aspects the establishment of a maritime training facility should have paramount importance in the region. It could provide education and training in subjects including marine safety, search and rescue, fire prevention and control, survival at sea, seamanship, navigation, handling of goods, marine engines, fishing, port operations, marine communications. The institute of the sea for the Central American Region is a need and has to be developed as soon as possible in order to cope not only with the exploitation of that marine wealth that all Central American countries have but also for the safety of their nationals and the sovereignty of their maritime exclusive economic zones.