New data compiled by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) has found that 150,000 seafarers are in need of crew change by 15 May.
The number is up 50 per cent from 100,000 when the ICS first highlighted the problem, earlier in the year, with national governments and the G20.
Continued inaction, the organizations say, will see this number continue to rise, as more seafarers require crew change.
They add that the current situation risks the safety and mental well-being of seafarers.
“Globally there are more than a million seafarers onboard 65,000 ships at sea,” says Guy Platten, secretary general of the ICS.
“And for the past two months crew change has all but completely stopped.
“This means that crew have not been able to disembark or embark ships at port and terms have had to be extended, but this is not sustainable.
“This new data indicates that 150,000 seafarers are in need of immediate crew change, with the potential for this number to increase significantly until travel restrictions are eased.”