By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) is "confident" it will enjoy growth in 2018 despite the current "downturn" in market conditions and increased competition from other registries.
The BMA, in its 2017 annual report, said its income had increased slightly to $17.55 million in 2017 compared to $17.433 million the year prior, while total expenditure rose to $9.748 million compared to $7.875 million in 2016.
According to the report, 86 vessels weighing a collective 3.13 million gross tonnes joined the Bahamas' register in 2017, compared to 131 vessels weighing a total 6.6 million gross tonnes in 2016.
"The Authority saw an increase in revenue of 1 per cent in the fiscal year from 2016-2017, from $17.433 million in 2016 to $17.55 million, an increase of $112,711. The marginal increase in revenue was attributable to an increase in receipts from the sale of Seaman's Licenses and documentations," the BMA annual report said.
It added that the total number of vessels on the Bahamas' register as at June 30, 2017, was 1,563 (62.722 million gross tonnes). "The flag continues to receive the report of its established ship owners in Europe, Asia and the Americas, with Greek owners making up 20 per cent of the register and, coincidentally, is the nation that also make up 20 per cent of the carrying capacity of the global merchant fleet," the BMA said.
"It is of note that the Bahamas' flag remains the number one choice for cruise ships, both in terms of numbers and tonnage."