It’s the Year of the Dragon from 10 February 2024 to 28 January 2024 according to Chinese astrology. Shall we see some major changes in the shipping industry? No, not innovations in technology or marketing, but a shift in the values and outlooks of those who deal with ships and the men and women who man them.

Wishing for such a fundamental change might seem futile. “One does not attain everything he wishes for. / Winds blow counter to what the ships desire,” wrote Al-Mutanabbi, the classical Arab poet (translation from Wikipedia). Still, it is human nature to wish and hope for a better future. Only the dead stop doing so.

For whatever it’s worth, here’s my list of maritime wishes for the Year of the Dragon 2024:

More emphasis on duty, less on rights

Seafarers treated as ends in themselves, not as a means to an end

Genuine charity (not donations-driven)

An end to the notion that certain organisations (e.g., IMO) are sacred cows

Less ass-licking by the maritime press

 

~ Barista Uno

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