Seafarers need to take an active role in helping the international community to win the battle against substandard shipping. That’s the message from the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) on the international Day of the Seafarer today (June 25).
As the maritime industry celebrates the contribution of seafarers to the world economy and commerce, the MAJ is urging seafarers to assess the quality of the employers for whom they choose to work and become more involved in ensuring that their own welfare issues are adequately addressed.
“Whenever they can, seafarers ought to be careful about checking the credentials of the companies they work for,” advises Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica. “Many issues are facing the seafarers today, such as piracy, fatigue and substandard welfare provisions, and therefore it is a good idea for them to research the companies from whom they are considering offers of employment.”
Rear Admiral Brady advises seafarers: “Look at the company’s track record and find out about its reputation as an employer before you decide if you want to work for them. While we understand the need for jobs and the urgency of providing for families, seafarers put their lives at even more risk if they work for substandard and disreputable owners so it is wise to be cautious when you can be.”
The annual Day of the Seafarer was established by a resolution adopted by the Conference of Parties to the ‘International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978’, held in the Philippines in June 2010, which adopted major revisions to the STCW Convention and Code. Rear Admiral Peter Brady, as Chairman of the IMO STCW Sub-committee at that time, presided over that Diplomatic Conference in Manila. The Day of the Seafarer has now been included in the annual list of United Nations Observances.