Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), has commemorated the 2018 International Day of the Seafarer.
Every year, June 25, is set aside internationally to celebrate the International Day of the Seafarer to acknowledge the invaluable work of the seafarer and to express appreciation for their tremendous sacrifices.
Speaking at the ceremony, Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu, described the work of seafarers as hazardous and further placed emphasis on strategies to tackle stress and other issues affecting their mental health.
“The GMA on our part will continue to work with all stakeholders, particularly the Regional Maritime University, seafarers unions as well as ship manning agencies not only to ensure higher standard of training and certification of our seafarers but to advance and promote the living conditions for our seafarers,” he said.
Kwame Owusu, said the GMA will commence the issuance of biometric discharge books to Ghanaian seafarers in July, 2018.
He said discussions are ongoing with service providers to introduce an online verification system for seafarers.
“It is expected that this system will eliminate delays and address verification issues by the international shipping communities who operate at different time zones,” he said.
The IMO Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa, Captain Dallas Laryea, declared that the celebration of the Day of the Seafarer will provide a platform to advocate for a good working environment for seafarers and thereby make a positive contribution to their wellbeing.
He encouraged seafarers to report issues with mental health before they manifests into accidents.