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Welfare of seafarers attracts political attention

To date, the only “party” that barely moved is the administrations

Members of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom met to address the plight of seafarers in conjunction with the London International Shipping Week. Regrettably, it is only the UK.

Ignorance — a callous bliss
The MPs called it “sea blindness”; referring to a lack of awareness among the public, media, and decision makers on the world’s dependence on the maritime sector. This impacts the latter’s ability to attract investments and makes it more difficult to recruit next generation of seafarers. Labour MP Kevan underlined its critical importance for the future of the country. He pointed out that the maritime industry is responsible for 95 per cent of imports and exports, and supports more than a million jobs.

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael stressed the importance of tackling sea blindness – one of the biggest difficulties that the industry has in getting political attention. He cited Nautilus’ research findings, which revealed the pandemic and crew change crisis left up to 11,000 maritime professionals having zero financial support. Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price, paid tribute to the crucial role that seafarers played throughout the pandemic. “We have been through a horrendous couple of years during the pandemic, but the supermarket shelves stayed stocked because the maritime industry kept working,” she remarked.

It is heartening to see different political parties concur on the seafarers’ plight. Unfortunately, majority of the world’s authorities have other priorities. In a joint statement between International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Labour Organisation (ILO), both observed seafarers remain deprived of medical care ashore during the pandemic.

“Advocacy from member states, the maritime industry, social partners and seafarers themselves has once again brought the plight of seafarers to the fore… We once again urge governments to recognise the strategic importance of the maritime sector and, in line with UN General Assembly resolution A/75/17 adopted on 1 December 2020,” the statement read. It does not take a lot to notice (again) which “party” is glaringly missing in the equation.


Crewing Online News Team
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