iTF News Update

Discovery of the ‘Blythe Star wreck’ reminds us of seafarers’ sacrifice

After almost fifty years, the families and sole surviving crew member of the Blythe Star, have learned where their ship rests on the seafloor of the South Pacific Ocean, off the South West Cape of Tasmania.


Boost for Sri Lankan seafarers

A delegation from a an international ship management service has arrived in the country to shore up job opportunities for hundreds of Sri Lankan seafarers that will, at the end of day bring in much needed foreign exchange to State coffers.


Poor internet, 12-hour shifts and unhealthy food: sailors’ job satisfaction takes a dive

Among the complaints, those surveyed reported that their 12-hour-long workdays are a source of fatigue, causing a break in the balance between personal and professional life, with adverse effects “for the mental and physical health of seafarers,” the report states.


Great Lakes Labor: Filipino Mariners Can Now Sail On Canadian Merchant Ships

In a move to tackle an acute mariner shortage accentuated by the rapid retirement of boomers, Canada has signed an unprecedented agreement with the Philippines, allowing Filipino merchant mariners to serve on Canadian-flagged vessels.


Turkey Reports Progress on Freeing Ships Blockaded by Russia

In two days of diplomatic talks with Russia and Ukraine last week, Turkish diplomats made progress towards an agreement to release all Turkish cargo ships from Ukraine, where about five dozen foreign vessels have been trapped by a Russian naval blockade for the past 15 months.


Russia threatens to quit key North Atlantic fisheries regulatory body; says it may instead work with China

The head of Russia’s federal fishery agency said the organization — the most important group guiding fisheries harvests and allocations in the North Atlantic — has become politically motivated.


UK government fails to prepare transition for own visa rule change, risking fishing crew paying the price

The government of the United Kingdom has failed to prepare adequately for its own changes to visa rules, and now underpaid migrant fishers will be forced to pay the price for the government’s delays and incompetence.


Asian seafarer hubs step up to meet decarbonization challenge

The steady progress by key seafarer home nations in Asia, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, to equip their maritime workers with the skill sets needed to deliver a low and zero-carbon maritime sector, will be showcased at the ‘Seizing opportunities for green shipping in Asia and the Pacific’ conference organized by the Philippines’ Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).


Fao: crackdown on illegal fishing

In Bali, the meeting of the parties to the agreement on port state measures. Step up efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by expanding vessel inspections, exchanging global information, and enhancing capacity building states.


Tug getting ready to tow stricken container ship Shiling

An ocean-going tugboat has left the side of the Shiling in Tasman Bay to swap crew in preparation to tow the stricken container ship to Wellington.


ASA: Seafarers should be fairly treated

In its 32nd Annual General Meeting, on 16 May 2023, in Shanghai, Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) focused on many aspects of the challenges and constraints including safety at sea, manpower and decarbonisation.


Seafarers Hospital Society launches free health consultation guide

In a bid to improve healthcare out comes for seafarers, The Seafarers Hospital Society (SHS) has launched a free Health Consultation Guide. The guide aims to bridge the gap between medical professionals and seafarers, building understanding of the risks of working at sea, health requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention, and the healthcare requirements of those that work at sea.


Who wants to be a seafarer? Part 2

I WAS once asked by some parents of graduating senior high school students if the only way to become a seafarer is to take either a BS Marine Transportation (BSMT) or BS Marine Engineering (BSMarE) diploma. This question arises as there are seafarers who are not graduates of a baccalaureate program and yet can get shipboard employment.


Women in Maritime Conference Highlights Gender Equality Initiatives

The importance of collaboration and networking in achieving gender equality in the maritime sector was centre stage at the Global Conference of the IMO Women in Maritime Associations (18-19 May) held at IMO Headquarters in London.


Empowering Diversity: International Women’s Day Sparks Momentum for Change in the Industry

A packed audience at Trinity House gathered on May 18, 2023, to celebrate International Maritime Organization’s Women in Maritime Day hosted and sponsored by OCIMF, Trinity House, Maritime UK, and WISTA UK.


Maritime protections: How the new Seafarers Wages Bill could protect workers at sea

In response to P&O Ferries sacking nearly 800 employees in 2022, a new piece of legislation has been created to better protect seafarers. Sophie Church explores how the Seafarers’ Wages Act may dissuade ferry operators from following in P&O Ferries’ wake.


Nautical Institute and Seafarers’ Charity join forces for crew welfare

The Nautical Institute announced a new collaboration with The Seafarers’ Charity to develop a new range of training courses aimed at improving the leadership and management skills of seafarers and those working ashore.


Over 80 Nigerian female seafarers jobless, frustrated — FESAN

The Female Seafarer’s Association of Nigeria (FESAN) has revealed that over 80 of their members are currently jobless. The group further said that the state of joblessness is telling on some of the seafarers who are gradually becoming frustrated with the pattern of shipping in Nigeria.


Ocean Calls podcast: Why is Europe’s fisheries sector struggling to recruit young fishers?

As European fisheries struggle to recruit a new workforce, the sector has concerns for the future. What’s the future of Europe’s young fishers?


Stricter immigration controls for seafarers entering Brazil now in force

Following Brazil’s ratification of ILO Convention 185, only seafarers’ identification documents issued by ILO Convention 185 member states are accepted as valid travelling documents by Brazil, without the need for a visa.


Incidents on fishing vessels may leave people unable to work

Professional fishermen work very exhausting and demanding jobs. They may have to report for work long before the sun rises and may work for much longer than the average person in a factory or retail environment. They are also at significantly elevated risk for injury and death on the job.