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How much are the lives of seafarers worth?

The shipping industry is never short of hearts that bleed for seafarers. But how much value does it actually place on the men and women who work at sea? Part of the answer can be found in the cash benefits paid out under the ITF collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) to the families of seafarers who die whilst in sea service.

Maritime do-gooders in Manila are wearing blinkers

There is no shortage of maritime do-gooders in Manila: seafarer unions, maritime charities, party list groups advocating seafarers’ rights, shipping journalists, and even (don’t laugh now) manning agents. Though they seem well-intentioned, these bleeding hearts remind me of a 19th-century pen and chalk drawing (pictured above) by Dutch artist Johannes Tavenraat which depicts a horse with blinkers.

Six things seafarers can do to make 2022 a fulfilling year

“Let every new year find you a better man,” wrote Benjamin Franklin, the American statesman and inventor, in his 1914 Poor Richard’s Almanack. The following are some things seafarers can do this year to achieve that goal. No doubt, they can think of other ways. The thing is to undertake some new activity and open a path to self-fulfillment. A prosperous New Year need not mean prosperity only in financial terms.

Three important maritime issues raised…and ignored

Marine Café Blog often hones in on topics that are hardly talked about by the maritime community and generally ignored by the shipping press. It was the first to raise three issues in particular which involve the rights and welfare of seafarers. Perhaps I should take some pride in this, but I don’t. The reason is that these issues continue to fall on many deaf ears. It can be bloody frustrating.

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