Seafarers: the world is listening

Celebrating the men and women that keep international trade moving

June 25 marks an important day for global at-sea workforce. For 11 years, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has co-ordinated an annual and international event day celebrating the invaluable contribution seafarers make to international trade and the world economy, often at great personal cost to themselves and their families.

This year, the theme for the Day of the Seafarer is a Fair Future for Seafarers, a topic which is particularly pertinent given the unimaginable hardships that many seafarers have faced since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with contracts extended indefinitely and severe disruption to crew changes.

Every year, the IMO delivers an open invite to all involved in the industry to celebrate the Day. Here at The Sea, we are celebrating the diversity of seafaring in our commemoration of Day of the Seafarer with interviews and contributions from four serving seafarers, each with a very different but equally exciting story to tell.

Maersk captain Knud Præst Jørgensen, celebrating his 40th anniversary at Maersk, opens our feature, speaking about how the role of the captain has changed from being the ‘ruler’ at sea to working much more co-operatively. Yrhen Bernard, an active navigator and a maritime journalist from the Philippines, talks about his alarm at the drop in the happiness levels of deck cadets. Jarin Chowdhury, the first female cadet from Bangladesh on foreign flagged ships, explains why she hopes to be an inspiration for female seafarers. And Renat Besolov, a seafarer working on crab-fishing vessels in the Barents, closes our Day of the Seafarer reflections with his musings on a fisher’s life.