Good standards of food and water at sea are becoming more widespread, as what you can expect from your ship’s cook is regulated under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006. The regulations ensure that you have access to good quality food and drinking water provided under hygienic conditions.
Regulation 3.2 of the MLC (2006), states:
Member states shall ensure that ships that fly its flag carry on board and serve food and drinking water of appropriate quality, nutritional value and quantity that adequately covers the requirements of the ship and takes into account the differing cultural and religious backgrounds.
Seafarers on board a ship shall be provided with food free of charge during the period of engagement.
Seafarers employed as ships’ cooks with responsibility for food preparation must be trained and qualified for their position on board ship.
Food must also be of suitable nutritional value and variety.
If you are unhappy with the food you are being served, perhaps you are not being served culturally appropriate meals or you require Halal or vegetarian options, you should discuss this with your senior officers in the first instance. You can also speak to a Mission port chaplain in confidence, who may be able to help negotiate on your behalf.