ITF News Update

Seafarers’ ‘Right to Refuse Sailing’ must be strictly implemented: DMW

THE Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) yesterday strongly urged all licensed manning agencies (LMAs) and accredited principals/employers to strictly implement the implementing guidelines for Filipino seafarers who want to exercise their “Right to Refuse Sailing” in areas declared as High-Risk Areas and War-Like Zones.


DMW adds hotlines for endangered seafarers

Onboard Filipino seafarers who may want to exercise their right to refuse service in a vessel that is sailing through “warlike zone,” like the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, can report directly to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) while they are at sea.


Donation drive underway for stranded seafarers after Key Bridge collapse

There are about 200 crewmembers who must stay on their stranded ships, following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Andrew “Andy” Middleton is mobilizing efforts to assist them. The Dundalk resident is the director of Apostleship of the Sea, a Catholic ministry that according to its website, “supports people of the sea.”


‘If a rocket strikes, they just hope’: Red Sea mariners are suffering shell-shock symptoms

Crew members can be helped after traumatic events, says Charles Watkins of Mental Health Support Solutions. Clinical psychologist Charles Watkins has first-hand experience of the devastating toll Houthi attacks in the Red Sea are having on crew members.


National WISTA Association Creating Opportunities for Women in Maritime Industry

The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Jamaica has made significant strides in fostering inclusivity for women, through the launch of the National WISTA Association, which is geared at creating greater opportunities for women in the maritime sector.


Thousands of longshoremen at Port of Baltimore face bleak months ahead

At the start of what is usually the busiest stretch of months for longshoremen in the Port of Baltimore, two found themselves on barstools at The Muddy Beaver weighing their options for the next several months over bottles of beer.


AMSA focuses on MLC complaints and wellbeing initiatives

Issues relating to conditions of employment continue to make up most of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) complaints, AMSA highlights in its new Safety Awareness Bulletin with two case studies. In particular, these complaints relate to seafarer employment agreements, wages, hours of work and rest, entitlement to leave, repatriation, and crewing levels.


Revamped health and safety handbook for seafarers promises accessibility and clarity

In a bid to enhance safety measures at sea, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has released the updated version of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers (COSWP), heralding it as ‘more accessible and easy to use’ than ever before.


How Indian fishers suffer exploitation and abuse on UK boats

On a cold January morning in 2023, Mariyappan woke up to an email that would change his life forever. A fishing company in the United Kingdom was offering him a job as a deckhand for a monthly salary of 1,400 pounds, or Rs 1,47,000, an amount that he thought could lift his family out of poverty.


Criminalisation: an international issue

Criminalisation is one of the most serious problems facing seafarers today. When there has been a maritime accident or a pollution infringement, seafarers have often been detained and denied access to normal rules of fair play and justice with which to defend themselves against criminal charges.


How AI is being used to prevent illegal fishing

Late last year, the Spanish government fined 25 Spanish-flagged fishing ships that had been operating near Argentina’s territorial waters. The financial penalties were imposed because the vessels had illegally turned off the GPS-based automatic identification systems (AIS), which were transmitting their positions. This is often a sign that a vessel is engaged in illegal fishing.


Does a Ship’s Flag Matter?

The container ship that collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge flew a Singaporean flag, but this is unlikely to play much of a role in the complex legal case to come. Maritime law is fascinating, yet also exceedingly complex. The recent collision of a Singaporean-flagged ship with a bridge in Baltimore demonstrates just some of its complexities, and the case looks likely to be one that will take years to resolve.


Almost 3,000 vessels de-flagged from Malta Ship Registry over five years

Malta Ship Registry continues to expand despite vessel de-flaggings over the years. Almost 3,000 vessels were de-flagged from the Malta Ship Registry between 2019 and 2024, with 89 vessels de-flagged in the first three months of 2024 alone, according to information from Transport Malta.


The top 10 largest container ships in the world

Cargo ships have consistently increased in size over the last 25 years, but what are the largest container ships in the world? Container ships have increased in size over the years, taking advantage of economies of scale to reduce shipping prices worldwide. The largest modern container ships in the world can carry over 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) and have led to the creation of a new size categorisation, Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCVs).


Crewlinker Connects Seafarer Competence to Jobs

Easy to use and powered by artificial intelligence, Crewlinker’s web application makes it easy for crewing agencies, shipping companies and other employers in the maritime industry to find people in seconds, and with all the necessary competences. Seafarers can easily enter all their certificates and working experience to automatically create an in-depth resumé that helps them find jobs that fit their experience.