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Seafarers are not the problem — they’re part of the solution

The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Seafarers are not the problem — they’re part of the solution
20 Mar 2020

Listen to the latest edition of Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

The coronavirus pandemic has left seafarers around the world in a precarious position, but as the focus shifts to European government responses the industry is pulling together to ensure that shipping, and seafarers, can keep world trade afloat. This week’s edition discusses concerns facing crew amid the Covid-19 restrictions and features maritime trade union Nautilus’ general secretary Mark Dickinson

A ‘PRACTICAL and pragmatic approach’ to crew changeovers and seafarer movement in general is required from governments rapidly shutting borders in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Restrictions are necessary, but the shipping industry is now presenting a united front in stressing the importance of seafarers in the circulation of global trade and the integrity of supply chains.

The basic message from those representing crew is that regardless of their nationality, seafarers should be treated as any other international “key workers”, such as airline crew and medical personnel, but that’s not universally the case and reports of prohibitions hitting crew are now starting to emerge.

The International Maritime Organization secretary-general Kitack Lim released a video statement on Thursday in which he indicated that he would be urgently initiating a series of meetings with leaders from shipping, ports and other sectors to help find solutions. The International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers’ Federation meanwhile have sent a joint letter to the heads of United Nations agencies urging that governments should be “keeping the world’s ports open for calls by visiting commercial ships, and facilitating crew changes and the movement of ships’ crews with as few obstacles as possible”.

Joining Lloyd’s List editor Richard Meade on this week’s edition of the podcast to discuss crew concerns and the restrictions being placed on seafarers is Mark Dickinson, general secretary of the trade union Nautilus International.