GMA committed to ensure maritime security within Ghana’s waters
Captain Inusah Abdul-Nasir, the Director of Technical of the Authority, said the GMA was living up to its mandate of monitoring, coordinating, and regulating all activities within Ghana’s maritime sector.
He said this when 33 participants from 13 Gulf of Guinea countries on the Maritime Security and Transnational Organized Crime (MSTOC) visited the Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS) as part of the course.
The MSTOC was organized by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) with support from the German Government.
He said with the VTMIS which operates a 24-hour service, his outfit was able to discharge its mandate by electronically surveying and monitoring Ghana’s coastline including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to ensure the protection of her maritime resources.
He noted that the GMA protected offshore installations, oil terminals, and gas pipelines, as well as prevented illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, piracy, and the prevention of pollution from ships.
He called for collaboration, coordination, and information sharing among countries, noting that addressing the security issues in the maritime sector went beyond the remit of one state as critical issues such as IUU and piracy transcend more than one country.
Captain Abdul-Nasir, touching on ships’ safety, said the GMA also had the mandate to ensure that chapter 11 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) which have special measures to enhance maritime security was attained.
He added that his outfit also supervised and audit the country’s sea ports to ensure compliance with the International Ship and Port Facilities Security Code (ISPS Code) which required that governments must ensure that port facility security assessments were carried out, in addition to the port facility security plans being developed, implemented and reviewed.
He added that certificates of compliance to the ISPS Code must be issued as part of the requirement to the ports periodically after review to ensure the safety of vessels that call at the facility.
Naval Captain Isaac Aratuo, Course Director for MSTOC, at KAIPTC, commended the GMA for continuously hosting participants of the course and providing them with the practical aspect of the training.
Naval Captain Aratuo reiterated the need for state and non-state agencies, as well as countries to collaborate with each other to fight against maritime insecurity and transnational organized crimes.