ITF News Update

Seafarer welfare research: patchy connectivity and five more discussion points

A survey of seafarers visiting UK ports carried out by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) has shown some 69% want better connectivity on ships. Deborah McPherson reports. Results from the UK Port Welfare Seafarers’ Survey, launched in spring 2023 by the MNWB, showed that 359 out of 519 seafarers who responded want better connectivity at sea and when they visit a UK port.


European dockers and seafarers manifesto for a fair maritime sector

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) has published the Dockers and Seafarers Manifesto, to advocate for socially sustainable shipping and port sectors in Europe. The manifesto acknowledges the significant role played by seafarers and dockers in the European economy, especially during the challenging times of the Covid-19 crisis.


Support grows for Seafarers’ Wages Council in maritime sector

Ship owners and shipping agents have rallied behind the government’s move to establish a Seafarers’ wages council aiming to enhance terms and working conditions for Kenyan seafarers. The proposed council will have representatives from COTU, Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and the Ministry of Labour.


Would you Recommend a Life at Sea to Your Children?

Tommy Olofsen, CCO and President at OSM Thome, recently moderated a panel discussion at the Crew Connect Global conference 2023 where panellists discussed shipping’s image problem, as compared to other industries, when trying to attract the younger generation.


Double pay and going dark: How shipping companies are navigating Red Sea attacks

Safety and workers’ rights must remain paramount in Red Sea, says International Maritime Organisation. Concern is growing for the lives of sailors, as the campaign of attacks on shipping in the Red Sea by the Houthi rebels shows no signs of ending.


The missing ingredient for those working onboard

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means at sea. Steven Jones, founder of the Seafarers Happiness Index, channels Aretha Franklin to make his point about declining levels of contentedness across the world’s oceans. If we ever begin to question the power of respect in shipping, it’s probably a good idea to look back to popular culture and check ourselves.


Shadow fleet tanker detained in Gibraltar after ‘Russian crew left unpaid’

MR tanker linked to India’s Gatik Ship Management makes rare call at European port after crew complaints. A shadow fleet tanker linked to India’s Gatik Shipmanagement has been detained by port state control in Gibraltar after its Russian crew complained it had not been paid.


EU’s drug-busting ports alliance excludes Chinese-owned Piraeus

While not the main entry point for drugs to Europe, Piraeus is a test of the EU’s ability to guarantee security at key infrastructure. BRUSSELS — The EU last week launched a European Ports Alliance to fight drug trafficking, but one of its largest ports is barred from participating due to its Chinese ownership.


Pirates switch focus from ships to fishing boats in the Indian Ocean

Indian and Sri Lankan navies thwart attempted piracy attempts, capturing Somali intruders. Pirates prowling around the Indian Ocean seem to be turning their attention to smaller fishing boats — for ransom or possibly to use them as mother ships for attacks on larger commercial ships.


Indian and Seychelles forces separately rescue two fishing boats hijacked by Somali pirates

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Indian and Seychelles forces separately rescued Monday two fishing vessels hijacked by Somali pirates and freed 23 crew members from Iran and Sri Lanka, both countries said in statements.


Survey Reveals Alarming Decline in Global Seafarer Happiness

A recent survey of seafarers reveals a worrying decline in their happiness, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of decreasing satisfaction among seafarers worldwide. The Seafarers Happiness Index, a quarterly survey conducted by The Mission to Seafarers, is a comprehensive study that evaluates seafarers’ wellbeing through a range of work-life aspects.


War and Piracy Risks Add to Continuing Decline in Seafarer Happiness

Fears over escalating piracy and war risk threats are contributing to a continuing decline in seafarer happiness according to the most recent update of a quarterly welfare study. The welfare organization The Mission to Seafarers which oversees the survey says the results are “raising serious concerns over the conditions for all those working at sea.”


US government issues USD 42 million in fishery disaster relief funding

The U.S. Department of Commerce has allocated USD 42 million (EUR 39 million) in financial relief for fishery disasters NOAA Fisheries has determined took place. “Sustainable fisheries are essential to the health of our communities and support the nation’s economic well-being,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said.


Tanker banned from European ports after skipping repair yard

MR Arina 1 was detained for nearly three months in Germany for a string of failings. A product tanker has been banned from European ports after failing to call at a Dubai repair yard under an agreement to end a three-month detention in Germany.


‘No shipping, no shopping’: Trade experts warn Congress what more Houthi Red Sea chaos will mean for economy

A top executive at MSC, the world’s largest shipping company, told Congress on Tuesday that the impact from Houthi attacks in the Red Sea will be ‘far greater’ on consumer prices than on the oil market. A National Retail Federation official told members of a House subcommittee that freight prices are doubling and smaller merchants have already passed on increases to the consumer.


SSI: Wellbeing of seafarers needs to be a priority

The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), published “The Delivering on Seafarers’ Rights 2023 Progress Report”, which presents how the situation has changed in the past twelve months and how the Code of Conduct has assisted companies in their due diligence work.


Malta: The Malta Flag Demonstrates Strong Maritime Performance In 2023/2024

Malta has once again demonstrated positive performance across all criteria assessed in the 2023/2024 Flag State Performance Table, as issued by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).



Paddy Crumlin, President of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), welcomed the resolution of the long-running legal dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) in Oregon.


Bangladesh Dumping ground for toxic ships

Out of 446 ships scrapped worldwide, 170 ended up in Chattogram beaches, making Bangladesh the biggest dumping yard for end-of-life vessels in the world last year. Of them 159 were built before 2002, the year the International Maritime Organisation banned the use of cancer-causing material asbestos on ships.


War dangers leave industry struggling to recruit ‘innocent victim’ seafarers

Red Sea attacks have highlighted the vulnerability of seafarers carrying out their work. Shipping faces an uphill task to attract seafarers as attacks in the Red Sea highlight the vulnerability of frontline workers in global trade, the head of the International Maritime Organization said on Thursday.