This exercise which has been carried out coincided with the International Day of the Seafarer commemorated today to recognise that almost all our utilities in our daily lives have been directly or indirectly affected by sea transport. The theme designated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) this year is: ‘Seafarers Are Key Workers’, as they have been recognised as front liners of the COVID-19 pandemic, playing an important role in maintaining the flow of essential products such as food, medicines and medical supplies across the globe.
In line with the 2020 Day of the Seafarer campaign, the Shipping Division of the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping has decided to pay tribute to seafarers, acknowledging their sacrifice and the issues they face. Various measures aimed at recognising their hard work are being put in place to cater for the well-being of the seafarers’ community. They are namely:
· an increase of grant from Rs 100,000 to Rs 300,000 per month allocated to the Mauritius Sailors Home Society to service local and foreign seafarers coming to Port Louis harbor;
· purchase of a thirteen-seater van to be used by the Mauritius Sailors Home Society for the transportation of seafarers in the port area to be funded by the Seafarers Welfare Fund;
· a number of seafarer working in the fisheries sector have received their salaries for the months of March, April and May 2020 through the Wage Assistance Scheme set up by the Government during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
· Mauritian vessels have continued to provide services to Rodrigues and Agalega during the COVID-19 pandemic for supply of food and other items. Seafarers have also continued to work worldwide on Mauritius registered vessels.
Furthermore, according to a plan prepared by the Government of Mauritius, for the repatriation of seafarers serving on cruise vessels it is expected that 486 seafarers will be repatriated in June 2020, and an additional of 450 seafarers will be repatriated in July 2020, making it a total of 936 repatriated seafarers in all.
The International Maritime Organisation has designated the International Day of the Seafarer on 25 June 2010 with the purpose to express gratitude to seafarers for their contribution to the world economy and the civil society and for the risks and personal costs they bear while on their jobs. The first ‘Day of the Seafarer’ was observed on the 25 June 2011.
This year, the IMO has called upon to all the Member States to recognise seafarers as key workers and urges them to pay tribute to them by providing them with the support, assistance and travel options, which have been made available to all key workers during the pandemic.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://gis.govmu.org Mobile App: Search Gov