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It’s certainly not the best of times — what with the COVID-19 pandemic killing more than 2.4 million people worldwide thus far; wrecking entire economies; and sowing fear and despair all around. But for many seafarers, it has never been the best of times (see my post, ‘35 things that make life more difficult for seafarers’). Indeed, for those who work at sea, the worst of times is always just around the corner and it can pop up as when…

the parties concerned don’t carry out their responsibilities for bringing home stranded seafarers as mandated by ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (holding summits and signing declarations on crew change are much easier, it seems).

 shipowners abandon their crews, leaving them hungry and desperate at sea.

dishonest manning agents short-change seafarers on their remittances.

 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) introduces more training requirements, unmindful of the high cost in time and money for seafarers.

seafarers are subjected to racial profiling and even harassment at international airports

unions play footsie with manning agents and the maritime establishment to preserve their power and influence.

 maritime charities pontifcate about depression at sea with the intent of earning from mental health training courses.

I am sure that my readers can add more items to the list. Just fill in the blank: The worst of times for seafarers is when _____. Your responses will be greatly appreciated.

~ Barista Uno

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