Seafarer happiness levels rise across all industry sectors

IMO celebrates Day of the Seafarer


After concerning reports earlier in the year, the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report has shown a marked improvement in happiness levels among seafarers across all sectors of the industry. 

The latest quarterly data showed that the overall seafarer happiness has risen from 6.27/10 to 6.59, representing “a very promising sign for the industry,” according to the report released by the Mission to Seafarers.

Happiness regarding interaction with other crew members has also increased to 7.28 from 6.85 reported in the last quarter.

“This is one of the highest figures provided in the five years since the report began and suggests a growing sense of comradery amongst seafarers.”

After findings from the second quarter of the year showed happiness amongst seafarers onboard cruise and ferry vessels to be 15% lower than other vessels, the latest report showed that happiness levels in this sector jumped up a full point to 6.3/10.

“It is hoped that this indicates an improvement in working conditions, while the pressures from a busy summer season are also likely to have eased.

“The index is providing a more accurate image than ever before of the conditions across the global fleet. With record numbers of seafarers participating in the survey and engaging with the research, we have been able to identify more ways to support our Members in prioritising the health and wellbeing of their crew,” Louise Hall, Director – Loss Prevention at the Shipowners Club, said. 

While results were generally very positive, the anecdotal evidence from seafarers identified a number of ongoing concerns, with the upcoming IMO 2020 sulphur cap causing stress for many seafarers. The report indicates that there is a widespread fear of blame for non-compliance, suggesting that some seafarers don’t feel prepared for the cap. Many participants reported concerns that discrepancies in data, in addition to tougher inspection regimes, could result in seafarers facing prosecution by authorities.

“While there has been much attention given to the financial impact of IMO 2020 on shipowners, this evidence shines a light on the day-to-day pressures on those serving at sea and the need for governments and shipowners to prepare seafarers for the change.”

The report indicates that the companies investing more resources into training have happier crews – highlighting the importance of seafarers feeling confident in their own abilities and with the responsibilities placed upon them by new regulations.

“It would appear that industry-wide changes in attitudes could influence widespread progress in 2020, and there is a strong sense that some of the improvements that the Mission and others have been advocating may be gaining traction.” 

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