This week has brought a rash of announcements about new technologies and innovations, which heartens maritime industry aficionados who are excited by the rapidity with which the industry is moving in order to become more environmentally and economically efficient. On the flip side, we see that our oldest, and most valuable, “technology”—our mariners—are still struggling to either exit or join their vessels. The ITF has called for them to conduct a “stop work” effort and “put down their tools”, but unlike land-based industries, this will create safety hazards beyond measure and most likely not produced the desired effect.
The IMO has been working diligently to have shipping deemed an “essential service” and our mariners “essential workers”. Why is this so difficult to achieve? It boils down to our inability to act as a unified industry. How much more effective would these efforts be if each stakeholder in our industry joined together with one voice to support our mariners’ ability to do their jobs safely and efficiently? In today’s connected world, why are we so disconnected?
I firmly believe that the IMO is the best venue for the development of global regulations, protocols and standards for our industry. But I also believe that industry needs to participate in advocating for our interests in the public’s eye. We have the Day of the Seafarer and World Maritime Day, but why consider these efforts to be a spotlight on just one day? We need more.
Let me know if you want to join me in a GLOBAL effort to unite our industry so we can reach the public’s consciousness—and conscience—to let them know shipping IS an “essential service” and our mariners “essential workers”. C.firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s optimize our industry—together
Carleen Lyden Walker
Chief Evolution Officer