©Blackfriars LLP 2009. All rights reserved. This document is for general guidance only. Definitive adviceshould be sought from counsel if required. Blackfriars LLP is a Nigerian law firm with a representativeoffice in Toronto, Canada.
Global Shortage of ProfessionalsWorries International MaritimeOrganization
May 2009, Vol. 22 Issue # 5
The criminalization of seafarers andincreasing global shortage ofprofessional in the maritime industryhas captured the attention of youngseafarers meeting in London. At anevent facilitated by the ITF and anumber of companies belonging toIntertanko and the association ofindependent tanker owners, youngseafarers from seven different countriesvoiced their concerns about shortage ofpositions such as deck and engineofficers, ratings and cadets.During the event, the seafarers made anumber of recommendations, whichthey were able to raise in a meeting withthe International Maritime Organisation(IMO). They proposed the establishmentof an international reporting scheme tolog violations of this right and drew up a'black list' of problem countries.Of immediate concern to the youngseafarers are the IMO and industryinitiatives to combat the criminalisationof seafarers involved in maritimeaccidents. The meeting called for theIMO/International Labour Organisationfair treatment guidelines in the event ofa maritime accident to be mademandatory. Other recommendationsincluded: Measures to promoteemployment security, the need to reviewmanning levels in the light of increasedinspections and responsibilities on boardand urged companies to ensure thatgood living and recreational facilities areprovided.The recommendations, no doubt, wouldassist the International MaritimeOrganisation to have great deal ofsuccess in its Go to Sea campaign aimedat attracting new entrants into theseafaring carrier. The campaign beingsponsored mainly by IMO and majorstakeholders in the shipping industrywas initiated to correct the acuteshortage of personnel, especially allcategory of seafarers in all parts of theworld.The IMO in its "go to sea" campaign lastyear said the shipping industry itselfholds most of the cards in reaching asolution to the shortage of seafarers.According to the IMO, the industrywould need to do more work to improvethe way it is being perceived.For further inquiries, please contact:Ms. Nkeiru OnyeasoTel: +234 808 718 0833Email: Nkay@blackfriars-law.comFax: +1 646 536 8978