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DNV GL appalled at lukewarm response to UN’s movement to recognise seafarers as key workers


CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen expressed shock at nearly 70 per cent of IMO member states not participating in UN’s movement. At a recent launch of DNV GL’s white paper on ship safety in the context of digitalisation and decarbonisation, Nilssen expressed his disappointment on the movement’s progress. “How is it possible that it can take such a long time? It is now for the heads of state to intervene and make sure that seafarers are recognised as key workers,” he noted.

Appealing for collective efforts
Stressing that both world trade and global supply chains are maintained by seafarers, Nilssen underscored the importance of everyone’s involvement to resolve the seafarer crisis. He pointed out that the crisis-induced fatigue and despair amongst those at sea are now threatening marine safety. The crisis also drew attention to a recent study by Yale University revealing dangerous levels of depression, anxiety and suicide risks among the world’s seafarers.

In a separate conversation with a media, Nilssen underlined the need for a collaborative approach to the industry’s challenges including digitalisation and decarbonisation, adding it is essential, for class, politicians, and regulators to collectively support the initiatives under way at the IMO. He also warned that leaving this unresolved will further complicate the seafarers’ job due to various regional shipping regulations.

Nilssen concluded, “If it’s unattractive to be a seafarer, the world will grind to a halt.” To date, 119 IMO member states reportedly did not register in UN agency’s circular calling for their recognition as key workers.



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