Seafarer Well-Being Takes Centre Stage with Neptune Declaration
The maritime industry had signalled its intent towards to commit towards ensuring the safety and well-being of its greatest assets – its seafarers.
The Neptune Declaration has been signed by more than 300 organizations, a long belated move, which underlines the importance to look at the seafarers who have been affected by the Covid-19 travel restrictions which resulted in extended tenure at sea due to restrictions in travel. While the movement of goods had gone unimpeded during those times, the crew onboard those vessels who facilitate in those movement on the various ships that transverse the oceans face a daunting prospect of lack of support or recognition in their efforts to keep global supply chains open.
It is welcoming news that the wider maritime community comprising not just from ship owners and managers, but also charterers, investment houses to come together to recognize seafarers as essential workers ad that they deserve the right to be given access to vaccines, health services and greater efforts vested towards carrying out crew changes.
The key ambit of the Neptune declaration identifies the following main actions:
• Recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines.
• Establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice.
• Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes.
• Ensure air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers.
The ultimate purpose of these is to ensure that seafarers are given better protection of their rights in the long term as well affirmation of responsibility by all stakeholders within the industry to safeguard their well-being.
MSI Ship Management’s strategic business partner IMC Shipping is a signatory to the Neptune Declaration. As an organization MSI Ship Management has been continuously proactively been carrying out crew changes in a safely. Our constant engagement of seafarers through various programs aims to ensure our crew member health and wellness is taken care of.