The Seafarers Happiness Index Quarter 3 2022 overall results reflect a continued level of seafarer satisfaction from the last quarter. This is very encouraging affirmation of all the wellbeing initiatives and investments made by companies during the pandemic, however, while optimism is sustained, the report shows that the underlying root causes of unhappiness for many remain unresolved, and there continues to be a lot of room for improvement
Keeping healthy and fit on board is the focus for many seafarers who are conscious of their fitness levels while at sea. Reflecting this, a key issue reported this quarter by seafarers is a shortcoming in meeting basic needs, such as appropriate catering levels and the offering of nutritional food on board.
When asked to rate their levels of happiness of the food available onboard, seafarer satisfaction levels decline to 7.53 from 7.81 last quarter.
This quarter there were multiple factors reported that contribute to this decline. One worrying report was of provisions consistently running low, leading to quality of food being served becoming poor and repetitive.
The provision of fresh and quality food would go a long way in shaping a balanced diet. However, there were issues raised about the good intentions of shore not being translated on board as crew continued to be served food that was not good for health.
Basically every effort you can make to eat healthily when ashore is ruined by the time you’re on board. – Seafarer participating in the survey
In addition is the lack of time and facilities for seafarers to keep fit while at sea. Seafarers reflect that they are often too busy or tired from long working hours to be able to spend time in the gym. Some have also pointed out that despite the Maritime Labour Convention stating that sports and exercise equipment should be considered, the lack of explicit instruction meant interpretation was left to the companies themselves.
On our small dive support vessel there is no space, but we make a workshop into a gym- it is not like the real thing. – Seafarer participating in the survey
Whilst it is encouraging that seafarers are making efforts to overcome issues that are our of their control such as space, there were many reports of not having the necessary sports and exercise equipment available onboard.
Every bit of improvement counts; be it in connectivity, catering, training, wages, working hours. However, it is the synergy of these adjustments across the industry that can bring about real long term positive and impactful changes for seafarers.
Stay tuned to this space as we unpack Q3 results, piece together the seafarer condition, and the implications this has on the industry.
The Loss Prevention department at Standard Club is dedicated to improving seafarer welfare, and testament to that commitment, the club is a signatory on the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change as well as a proud sponsor of the Seafarers Happiness Index, a report by Mission to Seafarers.