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Crew change crisis and seafarer vaccinations high on associations roundtable agenda

Photo - Daniel Schludi: Unsplash daniel-schludi-mAGZNECMcUg-unsplash.jpg
The crew change crisis and recognising seafarers as key workers were high on the agenda at recent virtual meeting of the Roundtable of International Shipping Associations.

The roundtable comprising Intertanko, Intercargo, Bimco and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) reaffirmed the industry’s commitment to getting seafarers universally recognised as key workers. Also highlighted was the need for a consistent and prioritised vaccination programme for seafarers and the ongoing need to find a solution to the crew change crisis.

Dimitris J. Fafalios, Intercargo Chairman, and chair of the meeting said: “It is time for UN Agencies, governments and global organisations to coordinate a worldwide vaccination programme for seafarers in line with the timescales recommended by the World Health Organisation.

“Government leaders must commit to collective action and take to task their counterparts who fail to appreciate that the welfare of seafarers is not only a humanitarian issue, but that the world’s seafarers are responsible for keeping global trade moving.”

Meanwhile the growing piracy threat to both vessels and their seafarers in the Gulf of Guinea was also high on the agenda.

“Effective maritime law enforcement in both territorial and international waters in the region is long overdue, and enforcement by able and willing naval forces is needed urgently to counter the deadly threat to seafarers,” the associations said.