Looking Ahead and Astern

There are so many challenges facing seafarers, and these are issues which shipping as an industry needs to address. There is much work to be done to make seafarers happier, and while some are relatively simple fixes, others will need real change.

It is not too much to ask to show crews some respect, for instance. Other things are a bit more challenging. Sadly, much of the problem does come down to fatigue and overwork. It seems that for the past 3 decades or so, shipping has focused on cutting the numbers of people onboard. Minimum Safe Manning has become an aspiration for some employers.


This has meant that so many aspects of seafaring have been eroded. There are challenges for maintaining a social life and community onboard. There are also too the issues of workload. Yes technology has delivered much to shipping, and it has reduced some of the tasks – but only some, and many others have not been impacted.

So we see worst-case scenarios in which fewer people are charged with doing more and more. This is having a serious and damaging impact of seafarers, and many are concerned and pessimistic about the future.

There are bright spots too – and there is still pride in being a seafarer, there is still a sense of belonging, of a career as a journey and a sense of being part of a historic, proud, and vital profession.

We cannot take that for granted though – and the 28 challenges we have set out here would make such a difference to the life of seafarers. Good food, better-designed surroundings, good social life, easier and cheaper shoreleave, training which is mapped out around an individual, and respect from all those who deal with seafarers.


Together we can drive positive change. So if you are a seafarer, please do keep sharing your insight with us. Complete the survey once a trip, and tell us about your life. While for shipping companies, we urge you to read and digest what we are saying. Seafarers are opening up about the problems facing them, and together we can be the solution.

#28Days #Seafarers #Shipping Also check out the Mission to Seafarers website to learn more that the charity does to address many of the issues raised across these challenges facing shipping. https://www.missiontoseafarers.org/

The Seafarers Happiness Index needs the support of those at sea, and of the shipping industry. So if you would like to be a part of driving positive debate and change – complete the survey or share your thoughts with us. https://www.happyatsea.org/survey

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