This time of the year always gives a great opportunity to consider lessons learned and set new year’s resolutions for new beginnings. For that matter, Dr. William Moore, Global Loss Prevention Director – S.V.P., The American Club, makes an assessment of 2021 and shares his message for the new year across the global maritime community.
SAFETY4SEA: How would you briefly describe 2021? What is your assessment?
Dr. William Moore: 2021 was a point of inflection for the maritime industry. In 2020, COVID-19 pandemic brought uncertainty and significant challenges to vessel operations. But over 2021, our industry adapted to the pandemic conditions despite the ongoing inconsistent treatment of seafarers with regards to travel restrictions, extended periods aboard ship, port State authorities handling of those injured or ill, and arbitrary quarantine policies. The resiliency we’ve seen in 2021 can best be described as remarkable.
S4S: Focusing on your area of expertise, what do you think that will be the biggest challenge(s) for the industry in 2022?
Seafarers are, and will remain, the most important component of the maritime industry. Ensuring seafarer physical and mental wellbeing, ensuring the maintenance of competency and evolving training methods to adapt to new technologies as well as encouraging and incorporation of critical soft skills are most important.
As we will hopefully emerge further from the grips of the global pandemic before year’s end in 2022, promoting and ensuring seafarer mental and physical wellbeing and enhancing seafarer competency in both hard and soft skills into account is critical.
S4S: What are you looking forward to in 2022? What would you be most glad about seeing changing in the maritime industry next year?
WM: The world embracing seafarers as essential workers. That has been sporadic to date with individual States taking unilateral positions and actions that do not positively impact the safety of global maritime trade. It is understood that States must take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their countries but believe a unified and coordinated action between States for seafarers as essential workers would benefit the greater good of all nations.
S4S: If you could make one wish for the maritime industry for the year to come, what would you ask for?
WM: Greater understanding and appreciation by the world at large of the significance and magnitude of the contribution to global trade of the maritime industry and in particular the magnitude of value of the International Group of P&I Clubs and the security and peace of mind they provide in this respect.
* * * New Year’s Resolutions for the Maritime Industry * * *
- We need to repeat… humanitarian and common sense based pandemic precautions that keep ships moving and seafarers safe.
- We need to lose… piracy.
- We need to gain… greener maritime technologies.
- We can succeed by… focusing on the health, safety, and security of all seafarers.
The views presented are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.