AUSTRALIA is hosting the Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA) forum in Sydney this week.

The annual forum aims to connect maritime leaders from across the Pacific region to promote a safe, secure and sustainable maritime industry.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority will represent Australia at this year’s forum. AMSA is participating as a Pacific region member state and as the permanent APHoMSA secretariat.

The forum intends to focus on maritime safety, seafarer welfare, search and rescue and increasing female participation in the maritime industry.

AMSA chief executive officer Mick Kinley expects the forum’s work to lead to better outcomes for shared challenges in the Pacific.

“The Pacific region is vast and contains both some of the busiest and most remote areas of the earth’s seas,” he said.

“Approximately 30 maritime states are participating in the forum this week and are all working to increase safety on the water, and to optimise our search and rescue capability across the Pacific region.”

Mr Kinley said the forum would also be considering actions to position the maritime industry for a sustainable and equitable future.

“The region shares a high dependence on maritime for secure supply chains. Many member states are also island nations that face the existential threat of rising sea levels.

“The global maritime industry is also facing a huge worker shortage, and the Pacific region has championed globally the importance of increasing the participation of women in maritime to address this.” 

More than 100 delegates are expected at the Sydney forum, including the International Maritime Organization.