How shipping industry celebrated the Day of the Seafarer

The whole industry celebrated on June 25th the Day of the Seafarer (DotS), under the theme Seafarers’ wellbeing. Maritime community strongly supported, by all means, the seafarers’ right to be treated fairly and enjoy quality of life at sea and further said a big thank you to seamen from all over the world for their contribution to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole.
The 25th of June was declared as the Seafarer’s day at the end of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) diplomatic conference held in Manila from 21st to 25th June 2010 to amend the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). The annual event has since been spearheaded by the IMO and this special day is recognized by the United Nations as an observance day.
The day usually encourages governments, shipping organizations, companies and shipowners to appropriately promote the seafarers’ rights and take action to celebrate them meaningfully. This year:
IMO created an online survey to collect seafarers’ feedback on their rights and whether they feel those rights are being implemented into operational reality. Furthermore, the organization launched a photo competition through social media, targeting at seafarers in order, to show us what a good day at sea looks like.
Day of the Seafarer 2018 provides a platform to advocate for higher standards of welfare and enable shipping companies and others within the industry to show how they provide a good working environment for seafarers and thereby make a positive contribution to their wellbeing,
said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, in his annual Message for the Day of the Seafarer.
The UK Chamber of Shipping’s spokesman Jonathan Roberts said:
A career at sea comes with extraordinary prospects and opportunities, and we should be ambitious in recruiting great talent to our industry. But we must accept also that in some cases seafaring can be leave people feeling lonely and isolated. By launching these webpages, we are helping to ensure seafarers know that we are on their side.
The ITF Seafarers Trust announced that it has commissioned a piece of important new research with Yale University. The project will examine risk factors associated with seafarers’ stress levels, depression and anxiety to reduce stigma around mental illness in shipping as well as the suffering of those affected. The ultimate goal is to identify factors in the sector that could be changed to reduce the risks and opportunities for intervention to prevent harm. Furthermore, the organization announced that in partnership with the World Maritime University, they developed the Maritime Welfare (MARI-WEL) Professional Development Programme, the first programme of its kind to deliver a comprehensive overview of the topics and issues that relate to seafarer welfare.
MARI-WEL is designed to meet the needs of anyone who works with or interacts with seafarers, both onboard and onshore. This includes ship management companies, crewing agencies, port chaplains, and welfare providers.
INTERCARGO encouraged its members to consider special actions and show our appreciation to seafarers and their families. INTERCARGO has requested its members to engage with their seafarers to voice their concerns, in order to assist the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in tackling holistically Seafarers’ wellbeing issues and treating seafarers with compassion by the various stakeholders in the shipping industry.
Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), the centre spearheading international research on the seafarer and maritime law, also joined the shipping community in offering a message of support for IMO’s Day of the Seafarer.
We are delighted to see that in its 2018 programme the IMO has placed the seafarer firmly on the agenda. We urge all sectors of the international shipping community as a whole to support efforts to represent their interests, and to be continually aware of the seafarers’ important role – not just for the Day of the Seafarer but for 365 days of the year.