Seafarers delegates at the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) meeting in Germany authorised the ITF to build a campaign. It is hoped to present a petition to governments by World Maritime Day, September 23, 2010.
The Petition will call on nations to:
- Dedicate significant resources and work to find a solution
- Take immediate steps to secure the release and safe return of kidnapped seafarers to their families
- work within the international community to secure a stable and peaceful future for Somalia and its people
ITF Maritime Coordinator Steve Cotton stated that "We also highlighted the scandalous negligence of countries making billions from ships they are doing nothing to protect."
The ITF will now work on an e-petition website and a cross-industry international campaign intended to deliver a powerful message to governments on World Maritime Day. Here at NAUTICAL LOG we fully support this long overdue campaign by the ITF. We would ask them to include in their campaign action against the SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY whose nautical thuggery is a disgrace to all seafarers and whom NAUTICAL LOG refers to as the SEA SHEPHERD PIRATE GROUP (SS-PG).
At least one of the SS-PG vessels the MS Steve Irwin is due to leave its pirate lair Port of Hobart, TAS on a 12,000 nautical mile voyage to France via the Panama Canal. It plans to attack fishermen in the Mediterranean. The ITF has an opportunity here to make a stand against this vessel and set an example against piracy. The ITF could persuade Tasmanian Unions not to work this vessel either in fuelling or port operations handling. Effectively this would prevent the vessel preparing for sea and in the event it was privately supplied it should not be boarded by any Pilotage Authority or allowed to transit the Panama Canal. The SS-PG thrives on publicity so lets use that against it and pirates in general.
Once the ITF website is up and running NAUTICAL LOG will Post an NLIN, we hope and expect all seafarers to respond to the e-petition positively. We have asked the Australian Maritime Unions and the Company of Master Mariners of Australia www.mastermariners.org.au/ to take action against the SS-PG. Unfortunately the silence has been deafening with no response, perhaps now they will get some 'guts' and work with the ITF.