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Seafarers Are Happy!

Image: The Mission to Seafarers

Laxman Pai

New report from the Mission to Seafarers paints optimistic picture across the shipping industry and shows increased positivity and satisfaction among those working at sea.

After concerning reports earlier in the year, the latest Seafarers Happiness Index, a gauge for measuring the feelings and experiences of seafarers across the global maritime industry, report has shown a marked improvement in happiness levels amongst seafarers across all sectors of the industry.

The latest report overall seafarer happiness has risen from 6.27/10 to 6.59 - a very promising sign for the industry.

Happiness regarding interaction with other crew members has also increased notably, up to 7.28 from 6.85 last quarter. This is one of the highest figures provided in the five years since the report began and suggests a growing sense of comradery amongst seafarers.

The latest report, which covers the third quarter of the year also saw a record number of participants engaging with the Seafarers Happiness Index. This is encouraging as it suggests that more seafarers see the value in having their voice heard on a global platform.

After findings from the second quarter of the year showed happiness amongst seafarers onboard cruise and ferry vessels to be 15% lower than other vessels, it is very encouraging to see that happiness levels in this sector leapt up a full point to 6.3/10. It is hoped that this indicates an improvement in working conditions, while the pressures from a busy summer season are also likely to have eased.

While results across the board were generally very positive, the anecdotal evidence from seafarers identified a number of ongoing concerns. The impending IMO 2020 sulfur cap appears to be a source of stress for many seafarers.

The report indicates that there is a widespread fear of blame for non-compliance, suggesting that some seafarers don't feel prepared for the cap, which comes into effect in the New Year. Many participants reported concerns that discrepancies in data, in addition to tougher inspection regimes, could result in seafarers facing prosecution by authorities.

While there has been much attention given to the financial impact of IMO 2020 on shipowners, this evidence shines a light on the day-to-day pressures on those serving at sea and the need for governments and shipowners to prepare seafarers for the change.

The report indicates that the companies investing more resources into training have happier crews - highlighting the importance of seafarers feeling confident in their own abilities and with the responsibilities placed upon them by new regulations.

Nov 4, 2019

 

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