SHIPPING

Seafarers Connect Trade Dots From Overseas, Local Markets

Theme for this year’s celebrations was: ‘Seafarers are Key Workers: Essential to Shipping, Essential to the World’.
01 Jul 2020 15:32
Seafarers Connect Trade Dots From Overseas, Local Markets
From left: Women in Maritime Association president Jane Koi with Minister for Transport Fayaz Koya on June 25, 2020. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic seafarers are able to connect trade dots from overseas and local markets.

Such allows a young boy in the most remote island in Fiji get his ration of sugar and flour says Women in Maritime (Fiji) Association (WIMA) president Jane Koi.

Ms Koi made the statement last Thursday in Suva during the 2020 World Seafarers Day.

Theme for this year’s celebrations was: ‘Seafarers are Key Workers: Essential to Shipping, Essential to the World’.

“To all seafarers who are still working out there, thank you for the sacrifice, thank you for being the connection that is able to connect the trade dots from overseas and local markets.

“A young boy in the most remote island in Fiji is able to get his ration of sugar and flour because you choose to work during this pandemic,” Ms Koi said.

“To those that have lost jobs during the pandemic, we will get through this together and when things get back to normal, we will rise above COVID-19 and be stronger than ever,” she said.

“Many seafarers have sacrificed time away from home and are not able to return to their loved ones as travelling continues to be restricted in some parts of the globe.

“While many seafarers locally continue with their work, a number in our tourism operating sectors and shore-based officers have been laid off as our borders remain closed.”

PILLARS

On the day Fiji WIMA reflected on the three key pillars in the Pacific Regional Strategy for Women in Maritime 2020 to 2024 which highlights the recognition of women in maritime, leadership and capacity building within the industry.

“According to statistics by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO),women seafarers account for two per cent of seafarers around the globe, that needs to change,” she said.

“Fiji WIMA is committed to connecting Fijian seafarers to develop their skillsets, bridge the gender gap on equality while at the same time enabling equal access to opportunities.”

Meanwhile International Chamber of Shipping, Esben Poulsson told CNBC News last week: “There are 200,000 seafarers needing to go home and 200,000 seafarers sitting at home needing to go on board to replace those going home.”

According to IMO, seafarers generally work between four to six months on ships before a period of leave.

At sea, they work 10- to 12-hour shifts seven days a week.

But many have been working beyond their contractual terms in recent months as they cannot disembark.

Those who need to get on board the ships to work also face the issue of trav el restrictions as many would need to travel to another country for the crew change.

Feedback: karalaini.waqanidrola@fijisun.com.fj

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