• 2020 April 13 12:03

    WMU calls on global maritime and ocean communities to join forces to protect seafarers’ rights

    As the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) apex institution for maritime and ocean education, the World Maritime University (WMU) adds its voice to widespread concerns over the serious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health, wellbeing, and safety of seafarers. 

    As countries around the world retreat to fight the pandemic, travel restrictions and financial losses are hitting shipping and other ocean-related industries hard. At sea, maritime workers are bearing the brunt of this global humanitarian crisis.

    Echoing the messages contained in IMO circular letter 4204 and the statement issued by the Officers of the Special Tripartite Committee of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006), WMU urges relevant national authorities, in particular port and flag State authorities as well as labour-supplying countries, to designate seafarers as key workers and adopt prompt and effective measures that ensure their rights to health and repatriation.  

    While the disruption in national economies caused by the pandemic is already inestimable, the magnitude of this crisis would even be more severe if not for the commitment of the estimated two million seafarers who continued to provide strategic transport services. Their rights as essential workers cannot be forgotten especially in the midst of the state of emergency declared in many countries around the world. 
    The World Maritime University calls on the global maritime and ocean communities to come together and join forces to protect seafarers’ rights. WMU urges them to stay vigilant and react promptly, to tackle the infringement of basic rights and to ensure access to necessities such as medical supplies, fuel, water, spare parts and provisions to ships. Protective equipment is as essential on board as it is ashore. National authorities and employers alike must ensure the strict implementation of appropriate occupational health promotion measures on board.

    The denial of access to shore-based medical facilities is especially disturbing in these challenging times. Access to a safe port is a long-standing international obligation and compliance is even more important in these unprecedented circumstances. National authorities must cooperate with employers to secure prompt medical assistance on board and ashore.

    Full cooperation is necessary to relax travel restrictions on seafarers. Crew changes have become a serious issue. Shipping companies are forced to minimize crew travel in order to prevent seafarers from being stranded in transit facilities without any assistance. While this might be an extraordinary preventative measure, it entails further occupational risks as it implies a longer stay on board than agreed, thus increasing the risk of fatigue and poor mental health. Support for seafarer repatriation efforts must also be intensified. Travel restrictions and financial losses are significantly increasing the risk of abandonment. Abandonment fears have already triggered the launch of a charity crowdfunding campaign by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), to reinforce their Seafarers Emergency Fund and respond to increased calls to their Seafarers Help hotline. While initiatives by welfare organizations are appreciated, shipowners are reminded that repatriation and payment of wages are primarily their responsibility. 

    As the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor Kitack Lim stated on March 19:

    “…We must also remember the hundreds of thousands of seafarers on ships. They are, unwittingly, on the front line of this global calamity. Their professionalism ensures that the goods we all need are delivered – safely and with minimal impact on our precious environment. These are people, usually far from home and family. Their own health and welfare is as important as that of anyone else.”

    Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU stated: “The world’s seafarers are indispensable to international trade. They are the lifeblood of the maritime industry and without them the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and all the many things we take for granted would not be possible. In times of crises like COVID-19, Governments must ensure that seafarers can transit, transfer and join ships in ports around the world so that shipping can continue to provide the world with the goods including urgent medical equipment that countries need.”

2021 July 28

17:09 PSA & ONE team up to enhance sustainability and reduce maritime environmental footprint
16:28 ECSA and ETF welcome WHO decision to prioritise seafarers’ vaccination
16:03 Rosmorrechflot supports the International Conference “Development of Icebreaking and Support Fleet”
15:42 ERMA FIRST adds world’s smallest ballast water treatment system to product range
15:18 DCT Gdańsk and the Port of Gdańsk enter a new era of container handling on the Baltic Sea
14:51 Oleg Shakhmardanov appointed as head of FSBI Moscow Canal
14:10 MAN wins the world-first order for methanol engine within container segment
13:56 Amursky Shipyard should enter the APR markets – Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin
13:14 Norcod finalizes transfer of 2.4 million fish into sea phase
12:55 Captain Guryev, rescue vessel of RF Navy's Black Sea Fleet passed the Suez Canal
12:32 Onezhsky Shipyard to get first federal tranche of RUB 1.3 billion for creation of ‘digital shipyard’ this year
12:13 DNV backs crew change programme in South East Asia
11:10 Firth of Forth proposed as Scotland’s Green Port
10:38 The Port of Gdansk welcoms the first cruise ship of the season
10:10 Andrey Severilov re-elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of FESCO
10:03 Haldor Topsoe and Yanchang form joint venture and build methanol catalyst facility in China
09:47 FESCO held repeated Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
09:28 Crude oil prices rise on reduction of US reserves
09:12 Baltic Dry Index as of July 28
09:05 Neal elected Long Beach Harbor Commission President
08:59 Seanergy announces delivery of one Capesize vessel and new bank loan facility

2021 July 27

18:34 Port of Kaohsiung wins International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) 2021 Award
18:16 Port Houston launches business equity program
17:56 The UK’s most eastern port welcomes the maiden call of Noble Caledonia’s flagship vessel
17:36 ONE offers free transportation of oxygen tanks to India to fight the COVID-19
17:06 Pilbara Ports Authority launches its annual Recreational Vessel Safety Campaign
16:42 Carbon Trust to support BEIS in development and demonstration of innovative floating offshore wind technologies for the UK
16:14 Cargo Integrity Group calls for risk-based measures to prevent pest contamination
16:03 Passengers travelling via the Port of Helsinki should prepare for occasional congestion
15:33 APM Terminals Mobile targets Midwest supply chains
15:02 MOL jointly develops new energy-saving sail to boost ship propulsion
14:42 ICTSI South Pacific starts bulk coffee operations
14:24 GTT receives an order for the tank design of six new LNG carriers
14:11 IPEM and IAA PortNews launch their joint analytical project on cargo handling in Russian seaports
13:42 Port of Savannah moves 5mln TEUs in H1 2021
13:29 Launching of sea cruise between Aktau and Astrakhan under consideration
13:12 Port of Zeebrugge posts results for H1 2021
12:52 MSC takes delivery from Fincantieri of MSC Seashore
12:25 ABS leads EMSA consortium studying alternative fuels and technologies
12:12 IADC reveals the fifteen nominations in the running for the IADC Safety Awards 2021
11:44 FESCO performs its first intermodal shipment of containers with shoes from China to Krasnodar via CPV
11:26 MSC, Fincantieri and Snam to partner for world’s first oceangoing hydrogen-powered cruise ship
11:10 Yang Ming takes delivery of one more 11,000 TEU ship to upgrade Trans-Pacific service
10:45 The President of the European Council Charles Michel was briefed on the capabilities of the Port of Baku
10:39 Damen Marine Components awarded contract to provide rudders and steering gear for Navantia
10:23 DCT Gdańsk and the Port of Gdańsk enter a new era of container handling on the Baltic Sea
09:59 CMA CGM to launch a new RORO Short Sea Med service connecting Marseille & Barcelona with Casablanca
09:51 LNG terminal to be built on Sakhalin by the end of 2023
09:32 Baltic Dry Index as of July 26
09:16 Crude oil market see upward price correction

2021 July 26

18:04 IPCSA ‘honoured’ to join the World Customs Organization’s Private Sector Consultative Group
17:57 M. Skuodis: expansion of the southern part of the Port of Klaipėda has potential to attract new cargo and investments
17:35 Sri Lanka Ports Authority with ILO support commences training for seafarers
17:14 Vitol Bunkers adds first offshore location to its USGC and Caribbean supply offering
16:20 Operation on delivery of 111-meter long column for Amur GCC is underway
16:03 Mobile harbour crane investment to further improve cargo handling efficiency at Port of Newcastle
15:13 TotalEnergies signs renewable power purchase agreement with Air Liquide
14:59 RF Government suggests establishing free customs area on Kuril Islands
14:34 The COVID 19 has strong impact on the port of Helsinki
13:44 DP World and Rosatom sign agreement for Northern Transit Corridor