This document was prepared by Maragtas Amante and published by the SIRC, i.e. Seafarers International Research Centre. Although the Philippines is a country providing more than a quarter of the total number of the world's seafarers who are employed on the ships trading internationally, by today it has not been possible to find reliable information concerning the Filipino seamen and their circumstances in a single publication.

Such information would definitely be very valuable for the crew managers of the shipping companies, as well as officers of international associations, agencies and any other parties involved. The present report is intended to remedy the existing deficit. There were some separate surveys conducted years ago of seamen and students enrolled in a number of maritime colleges with the ultimate purpose to generate a profile of Filipino seafarers that would be dependable enough to rely on.

The results of the subject survey were amplified by the interviews with some crewing managers, trade union officials and senior government officers and by a search of available relevant documentation. This report starts with the introduction and a chapter on the survey mentioned above. Among the topics included in the publication there are recruitment, hiring and working on board, training and education, pay variations etc.

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When a vessel somewhere in the middle of the ocean, it is very difficult to get a doctor on board or to transport the ill or injured patient ashore. So, the success of the medical treatment depends on the medical know-how and treatment facilities available on board. The Master is officially responsible for the treatment given to people on board the ship. The crew's level of medical training is determined by the national and international regulations like STCW 95. In addition, the ship has necessary medical equipment.

The international Radio Medical system was developed to compensate for the lack of well-trained medical staff on board. Via the service system of Radio Medical, a doctor on shore can be consulted free of charge. Improved telecommunication systems have facilitated direct contact between the crew and the shipping company's occupational health service or, for example, a designated health care facility. It is crucial that the person in charge of treatment on board is capable of recognizing the patient's symptoms and of following the patient's condition. Without these skills, describing the patient's condition to Radio Medical's doctor on land will not be successful. The Radio Medical system has been used in seafaring already for a hundred years. Video transmission, made possible by modern telecommunications technology, is not expected to significantly change the basic situation of on-board treatment.

All the treatment given on board depends first and foremost on the know-how of the crew members. The equipment on board and even the finest communication technology are only complementary.

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The authors of the present publication have divided it into seven parts addressing crew resource management itself, human factors involved, providing information on the IMO STCW Convention, maritime training and education, problem of piracy, health issues, and maritime ecology.

The first part covers the management of the crew resources, describes the importance of the human factors involved and proper bridge resource management in decreasing the number of marine casualties, as well as all other related issues.

The 2nd part of this book is fully dedicated to the human factor, while the 3rd part covers whatever is relating to the STCW Convention, namely importance and needs of the studies for maritime navigators, implementation of the subject Convention, new applicable standards of competence for officers, assessment components etc.

The next part is mainly focusing on maritime training and provides valuable relevant info on improving the quality of such training and education, describes relationship between students' approaches to training and motives of choosing the maritime professions, etc. The part of the publication touching the piracy problem describes Somali piracy, describes various safety measures and preventive actions as well as technological advances and efforts that are made in order to reduce the piracy...

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Nowadays, the major focus in shipping is considered to be "human element" issues, such as safety management and training. Society at large demands high performance standards from the entire transport sector, and the adoption and further implementation of good employment practice is a necessary part of meeting those demands.

The performance of individual seafarers, shipping companies and the industry- as a whole is as dependent on adherence to good employment standards as it is on compliance with technical regulations. The shipping industry was amongst the first to adopt comprehensive international employment standards following the establishment of the International Labour Organization in 1919. Maritime employers, co-ordinated by ISF, have actively participated in the development of those standards since the first ILO Conference, and continue to do so today. The great majority' of shipping companies provide terms and conditions of employment to their seafarers which match, and in most cases comfortably exceed, best practice ashore. Seafaring is a unique profession, and the industry" offers well-paid regular employment and an interesting and rewarding career to seafarers of all nationalities.

The members of ISF intend to ensure that the industry's high standards of employment are maintained. It is with these thoughts in mind that these Guidelines on Good Employment Practice have been produced for the assistance of the shipping industry.

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There have been so many studies performed with the intention to find the ways of how to reduce the port turnaround times. So much of technological and logistical ingenuity was deployed by the industry professionals, such as naval architects, transport planners, production and civil engineers etc. to ensure that the vessels spend the maximum of their time at sea not in the port.

However, the application of all this energy has ever been matched by relevant studies of the effects  that these "efficiency gain" have to the lives of the seamen. This report appears to be the first detailed comparative analysis of port turnaround timing. It is also aimed to offer readers some preliminary exploration of the social cost that is incurred by seamen. The report also includes comparison between different types of vessels, such as car carriers, dry bulk and liquid bulk carriers, container ships, forest products carriers, tankers etc.

There is valuable information and tips on living in the fast turnaround vessels, including the decline in levels of manning, lack of shore leave, physical and mental wellbeing, port environments and locations etc. The publication presents a result of a very serious and practical research and is therefore recommended.

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This publication by MarineInsight professionals will introduce the reader to the life at sea, show main reasons why the seafarers have to quit their sea jobs, teaches how to stay fit and focused at sea, tackle on board politics, deal with effects of hectic life and with difficult seafarers, how to cope with the lacks of social life and fatigue, and to improve interpersonal relationships with other crew members, explains professional mistakes done by seafarers, importance of shore leave, supplementing this all with general information on health.

We all know that working on board sea-going vessels requires completely different style of living. In fact, the seafarer's job is maybe one of the most interesting jobs since they travel so much, meet different new people from other countries and cultures, they have a chance of working on the technologically advanced floating structures etc - it is all very intriguing. The benefits of being a seafarer include opportunities to visit other countries, lucrative jobs, truly adventurous lifestyle, enhancing professionalism. However, there are also some disadvantages such as lack of social life, being away from the family for long periods of time, having to follow the onboard politics etc.

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