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OUR YEAR - WELL MAYBE

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that 2010 is the 'Year of the Seafarer'. Considering all we go through on a daily basis it is nice to be recognized - at last.

However it is also even more important for the IMO to recognize that it must fully enforce the Maritime Laws that exist to protect seafarers. Unfortunately their record is quite deplorable with Laws ignored, unenforced, and closed eyes on far too many occasions. They talk, a lot, about many aspects of seagoing including piracy but totally ignore the behaviour of nautical terrorist organizations such as the Sea Shepherd Pirate Group (SS-PG).

These people have had an entire off-season sheltered in Australia where they are treated with the same admiration given by many to Ned Kelly. During this time not alone was no action taken against them but they refitted their vessel for further acts of piracy!! Neither the IMO, Flag States of the Netherlands and New Zealand nor the Port State of Australia, where the refit, re-supply and re-crewing occurred, took any action. Now by a shifty manoeuvre the French are involved, in writing, as supporters of piracy. To add insult the SS-PG vessel MS "Steve Irwin" has just spent several days in Hobart, Tasmania refuelling and resupplying. It is now underway for the Southern Ocean planning more piracy acts, according to it own website.

If the IMO truly wants to honour seafarers then they must get underway and stop this phony conservation enforcement, amongst other actions they need to take to protect seafarers. Otherwise it will be more of their usual behaviour - talk talk talk and very little if any action.

So fellow seafarers enjoy our '2010 Year of the Seafarer' but do not expect the IMO to actually do anything for us.

Good Watch.

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