The International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM) has become the latest signatory of the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change

Covid-19 has impacted the daily lives and wellbeing of seafarers in unprecedented ways, causing a humanitarian crisis at sea.  Hundreds of thousands of seafarers have been stranded working aboard ships beyond the expiry of their contracts.  As the frontline workers of the maritime industry carrying 90% of global trade, seafarers play a vital role in ensuring the global flow of goods that the world depends on.

The Neptune Declaration, signed by more than 750 organizations around the world, including ICMM members Hong Kong Maritime Museum and Royal Museums Greenwich, UK (including the National Maritime Museum) outlines the main actions that need to be taken to resolve the crew change crisis.

The Neptune Declaration urges the implementation of four main actions to address the crisis:

  • Recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines
  • Establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice
  • Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes
  • Ensure air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers

“Seafarers play a significant role in the global race to halt the coronavirus pandemic by providing critical medical supplies to the world’s population, particularly in developing economies. They are crucial to millions of peoples’ wellbeing. We call on our peers, government bodies and other stakeholders to join us in our efforts to ensure that the rights and wellbeing of the frontline workers of global supply chains are respected,” says Graham Westgarth, Chairman of V. Group.

Learn more about the Neptune Declaration

See the complete list of signatories

The International Congress of Maritime Museums is the world’s only international maritime museum network.  It was founded in 1972, and has more than 140 members in 36 countries.  Our members include not just maritime museums of all sizes, but also organisations and individuals connected with the wider world of maritime heritage.  ICMM is affiliated with ICOM, the International Council of Museums.

ICMM will be encouraging its members to sign the Declaration. Join us in our support of the world’s seafarers. 

Matthew Tanner, President, ICMM

Director & Chief Executive, SS Great Britain Trust

Photo credit: Cameron Venti/ Unsplash