As the novel coronavirus marches on, the global shipping community is hailing seafarers as the “Unsung Heroes of Global Trade”. The slogan sounds nice but hollow. In fact, it is downright disingenuous.
How can the words ring true when thousands of seafarers have been stranded in foreign ports and harbours because of COVID-19? That the problem exists on such a scale shows how the maritime world really regards the men and women who toil at sea: they are commodities.