From Sailing Ships to Microchips

For a variety of reasons governments of the world agree on the need for more regulatory frameworks to enhance safe and environmentally responsible ship operations, including those directly applicable to mariners themselves, like the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, and the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006. The article discusses how senior officers transfer their skills to the next generation through example and then by doing, all with the appropriate supervision. With regard to today’s mariner training requirements, the regulatory framework should supplement the onboard experience, but never replace it. With the advent of modern communications, including the internet and social media, the shipping industry is more visible to the general public than ever before. Regrettably, the visibility is not usually associated with positive issues, but rather with negative events like loss of life, environmental impact, etc. Shipping is squarely in the spotlight of regulators at all levels of government, including the international level. These initiatives will not slow down, as because of recent initiatives on greenhouse gases, Polar Code development, regulations addressing alternative fuels, and hull biofouling/impact on invasive species, to name a few. Add to this safety and security related regulatory programs, including e-navigation, piracy, refugees at sea, STCW, the Maritime Labor Convention, and cybersecurity, and compliance challenges become daunting. Sailing on ships is not a risk-free profession. Between cargo operations, sea and weather conditions, and the duty cycle, there is no question that being a professional mariner is challenging.


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  • Accession Number: 01640113
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2017 7:44PM