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Seafarer Happiness Declines: Concern Grows

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Q3 2023 Brings Unsettling Trends

In the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report for Q3 2023, seafarer happiness continues to plummet for the third consecutive quarter. Concerns are raising about the well-being of the seafarers working at sea.

Happiness Score Falls to 6.6

The Q3 report paints a bleak picture, with seafarers’ happiness declining to an alarming score of just 6.6 out of 10. This starkly contrasts the Q2 2023 score of 6.77 and the Q1 2023 score of 7.1.

The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, expressed deep concern over the continued decline in seafarer happiness. The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, said: “It is deeply concerning to see seafarer happiness fall again during the third quarter of 2023. This extended downturn across all three quarters of 2023 so far paints a worrying picture. It seems clear that happiness levels will not recover to acceptable levels unless we can address the systemic challenges that continue to undermine the welfare of our seafarers, such as limited shore leave, unsustainable workloads, insufficient connectivity, and stagnant wages.”

Seafarers Happiness Report - Maritime News
Sunil Gadekar, National General Secretary, Seafarers and Dockers Union of India

Sunil Gadekar, National General Secretary of the Seafarers and Dockers Union of India, commented, “Seafarers exploitation onboard is no new. They are forced to do things, which is not meant for them. In few cases even when their health is deteriorating ,they are forced to work without proper medication. Our organisation have been fighting for the rights of such victim Seafarers since many years. Happiness is not just earning money, instead it’s a feeling of being happy with work and co-workers. The declining happiness of seafarers is a critical issue that requires urgent attention. We must prioritize the wellbeing of our seafarers and ensure that they have a safe and fulfilling work environment.”

Quarterly Assessment: Seafarers’ Wellbeing in Sharp Decline

The Seafarers Happiness Index

This quarterly assessment, conducted by The Mission to Seafarers in partnership with NorthStandard and Idwal, generously sponsored by Inmarsat, delves into the psychological and emotional state of seafarers. The survey comprises ten pivotal questions that scrutinize their experiences and sentiments while on board.

Broad-Based Deterioration

Several aspects of seafarer life have taken a hit. This includes wages, workload, and onboard connectivity, which saw the most substantial drop in happiness levels. , Even if there were minor improvements seen in areas like shore leave, training, and food.

Factors for Declining

The reasons behind the falling happiness index is very clearly provided in the report. Moreover the report is also sharing some recommendations with respect to shore leave, remuneration, promoting diversity and inclusion. It is also recommending tips on managing workloads, and using technology.

Critical Issues: Salary and Nutrition

Inadequate salaries, particularly for senior roles, have become pressing concerns. The other major concern is the onboard budget constraints. That has led to nutritional compromises in catering, this has created a need for well-provisioned ships and skilled catering crews.

Connectivity Challenges

The complexities of connectivity and communications are discussed. While they allow contact with loved ones, they can also facilitate unwanted micromanagement from ashore. Guidelines are called for to strike a healthy work-life balance through technology.

Unmanageable Workloads

Seafarers face overwhelming workloads due to expanding regulations and administrative tasks. Stress levels are rising as responsibilities become increasingly unmanageable.

Cultural Biases and Gender Disparities

Cultural biases and misunderstandings hinder social cohesion onboard, with gender disparities and diversity issues coming to the fore. The report demands the need for open communication and mitigation.

The Bright Side

Even if there are so many challenges and sacrifices, but still some seafarers acknowledge the benefits of their profession, including steady income.

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