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Seafarers’ Happiness Declines in Q2 2023: Latest Report

Seafarers’ Happiness Declines in Q2 2023: Latest Report

Seafarers worldwide are facing growing challenges and declining happiness, as revealed by the latest Seafarers Happiness Index (SHI) report for Quarter 2, 2023.

The overall happiness score dropped from 7.1/10 in Q1 2023 to 6.77/10 in Q2 2023, according to the report.

In the period from April to June 2023, seafarer happiness levels dropped across all aspects, with significant declines in crew happiness, shore leave, and workload, showing an approximately 8% decrease. Unlike previous years, the decline has been consistent throughout the year.

Seafarers highlighted ongoing struggles with returning to pre-pandemic working and living conditions, especially regarding crew changes, time on board, wages, and shore leave. The pandemic’s impact has led to delays in crew changes, extended time on board, and reduced wages, resulting in worsened conditions. Despite efforts to recover, these challenges persist, causing frustration among seafarers.

A key concern is the shortage of drinking water, a problem highlighted by many respondents despite being covered by the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). Rising global food prices have also led to insufficient food supplies for seafarers. Additionally, ongoing restrictions and company policies limit opportunities for shore leave, negatively impacting mental health and job satisfaction.

Work-life balance violations and wage concerns also trouble seafarers. Some report being paid only once during their time on board, with subsequent periods considered “gaining experience” without payment. Stagnant wages over long periods further contribute to dissatisfaction.

The report underscores the need for fair and timely wage adjustments and improved working conditions. Seafarers are facing significant challenges, leading to a decline in their satisfaction with life at sea. To address these issues and improve well-being, industry-wide efforts are crucial.

“It is extremely disappointing to read of contracts being altered or disregarded, leading to payment issues, salary cuts, rising taxes, and increased living costs, as well as such fundamental requirements such as good quality meals, access to shore leave and manageable workloads,” said Andrew Wright, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, publisher of the Seafarers Happiness Index report.

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“All seafarers are fully entitled to expect fair compensation for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to keeping international shipping moving. It is incumbent upon all of us to address these issues and make the improvements required to enhance seafarers’ working conditions, wellbeing and job satisfaction,” Wright added.

To address these challenges, The Mission to Seafarers is collaborating with industry partners. An Executive Roundtable on Crew Welfare was held during Singapore Maritime Week 2023, and further progress is expected during London International Shipping Week in September 2023. The aim is to transform feedback into actionable solutions that enhance seafarers’ well-being, safety, and quality of life. It’s a collective effort to improve conditions for those who keep international shipping moving.

MMJ News Desk
Author: MMJ News Desk

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