Thursday 25 June is the International Maritime Organization-designated Day of the Seafarer 2020.
The day recognises the contribution that the seafarer makes to our everyday lives. Seafarers are required to carry out their duties in a constantly changing, challenging, and often dangerous environment, so that the lifeblood of our economy – international trade – continues to flow.
This year, the year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the seafarer is both particularly important and is experiencing particular difficulties.
“Seafarers are on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, playing an essential role in maintaining the flow of vital goods, such as food, medicines and medical supplies. However, the crisis has led to difficult working conditions for seafarers, including uncertainties and difficulties about port access, re-supply, crew changeovers and repatriation.
“The 2020 Day of the Seafarer campaign pays tribute to seafarers, acknowledging their sacrifice and the issues they face. Many seafarers have been away from home for months and are unsure when they will be able to return home due to travel restrictions,” the IMO says.
And it concludes: “The campaign encourages everyone to treat seafarers with the respect and dignity they deserve so that they can continue to provide their vital services to keep world trade moving”.
Shipping Australia fully supports and endorses that viewpoint.