Seafarer Happiness Improves But Remains Fragile

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The latest Seafarer Happiness Index showed an increase in Q2 2022, recovering from the all-time low of Q1 2022, reports Seatrade Maritime News.

Happiness rose across all categories, leading to an overall increase to 7.2/10 from 5.85 in Q1.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Much of the lift in the latest report seems to stem from the easing of constraints on seafarers related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As international travel restrictions eased, crew travel became easier to facilitate and seafarers’ schedule became clearer; certainty on when crew will return home has a large impact on morale.

After more than two years of uncertainty caused by COVID-19, seafarers are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said the report.

Although challenges remain due to restrictions in some Asian countries, China has loosened quarantine requirements for Chinese seafarers. Significantly, restrictions have also been lifted in Singapore, and the Philippines and India have also lifted a range of travel bans and COVID measures – all of which means that seafarers have a far greater chance of getting back home unhindered. This lifts the mood dramatically and understandably so.”

Increased focus on seafarer wellbeing

Data in the report suggested 41% of seafarers were now onboard for between one and three months, improving greatly over recent quarters.

During contract, there are further bonuses for seafarers as COVID restrictions ease. Many seafarer centres have reopened, giving crews better access to support, entertainment, and provisions while ashore.

Besides the knock-on effects from COVID recovery, the report noted an increased focus on seafarer wellbeing from owners and operators.

There has also been a focus within the industry on finding solutions to many of the frustrations which have been dogging seafarers for years. Some of these initiatives appear to now be delivering. With more vaccinations, better travel, wage rises and new amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) delivering hopes of universal maritime connectivity, there is cautious optimism. Nonetheless, while the data does suggest improvements, there should be no complacency,” said the report.

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Source: Seatrade Maritime News

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