Frankie, part of our small battalion of housecats, looks rather pensive. Is he thinking about the EU threat to ban Filipino seamen? Not a bit. Like most crewing executives, Frankie hasn’t seen the complete European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) report on the Philippines’ STCW deficiencies. And why should he be bothered? Local maritime bureaucrats and other humans think the EU can ill afford such a drastic move given its potential impact on EU shipping. No, Filipino seamen will continue to work and sweat it out on EU-flag ships and be able to feed their families. Frankie shan’t starve either. He’ll get his regular supply of cat food plus an occasional treat of Kentucky Fried Chicken. ~Barista Uno

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