Crackdown Planned on Up to 1,000 'Unsafe' Ships in Mediterranean

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday March 17, 2023

European officials are planning on a crackdown on unsafe ships operating in the Mediterranean over the next two months.

Officials from the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) plan to target up to 1,000 ships flagged to the Cook Islands, Palau, Sierra Leone and Togo for safety, maintenance and seafarer welfare inspections across the Mediterranean over the next eight weeks, the organisation said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

The organisation accused these four flag states as being responsible for 33 cases of crew abandonment affecting more than 100 seafarers over the past three years, as well as millions of dollars of unpaid wages and 5,203 deficiencies or detentions issued by European port state control enforcement agencies.

"Substandard shipping in the Mediterranean Sea is driving down seafarers' wages and conditions, its endangering the lives of crew and risking our environment," Steve Trowsdale, an ITF inspectorate coordinator, said in the statement.

"These flags take money from shipowners to register ships that other countries wouldn't touch.

"Many are old vessels and are poorly-maintained by their owners.

"Many of these ships are dangerous and should not be trading."