You are here

Seafarers sometimes constrained by coronavirus

SHIPPING NEWS: Seafarers sometimes constrained by coronavirus
Peter Ziobrowski 18 November 2020

Imagine being stuck on a ship at sea for over a year.

A recent inspection of a container ship calling in Halifax found two seafarers from Madagascar who had been onboard for 18 months, well in excess of normal contract length.

Unfortunately, this is not a unique circumstance since the pandemic began in March. COVID-related border closures have meant that many crew members are unable to get home and, when in port, are often confined to the ship.

Some countries, fearful of the virus spreading, have outright banned crew changes. Others have made requirements so onerous they are not practical for companies to comply with.

The International Maritime Organization, the UN agency that deals with shipping and maritime issues, estimates there may be as many as 400,000 workers stranded on ships in excess of their contracts. The Maritime Labour Convention, a UN treaty administered by the IMO, specifies ...This article is for members only. Subscribe to The Chronicle Herald to continue reading.