The Seafarers Happiness Index was founded in 2015 and is designed to monitor and benchmark seafarer satisfaction levels by asking 10 key questions and serves as an important barometer of seafarer satisfaction with life at sea.

The findings, which are fully anonymised, recognise both the positive and negative aspects of working at sea, from a seafaring perspective, as well as flagging any areas of concern.

In 2018, the Mission published a series of reports from the survey which highlighted a growing concern around the relationship between mental health and connectivity at sea. Current happiness score is 6.32/10, down from 6.56.

For instance, data showed that seafarers with access to internet onboard reported much higher levels of happiness, whereas those without it marked lack of connectivity as a major source of discontent.

There were also a number of incidents raised by female crew around sexual harassment at sea. In some cases, female seafarers also reported feeling lonely or isolated, especially when they were the only woman onboard.

However, the survey also painted an inspired image of life at sea, with many seafarers giving praise to employers for providing onboard connectivity, nutritious meals and exercise equipment. Seafarers also commented on the strength of the seafaring community, citing onboard working relationships and friendships as the best part of the job.

By creating a confidential channel of communication between seafarers and the industry, we have been able to create a blueprint for continued improvement within the industry and one that enables us to make recommendations as to how shipping companies can cultivate a workplace where crew members feel happy and supported,

...commented Ben Bailey, Director of Advocacy and Regional Engagement at The Mission to Seafarers.

This year the Mission will continue to publish its findings from the survey once a quarter.