Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Symbols of maritime decline

Our government’s present inability to land a cargo of gasoline in a U.S.-flag vessel in icebound Nome, Alaska, symbolizes the shortage of foresight of our maritime policy makers. We are unable to provide a U.S.-flag ice-strengthened tanker to lift cargo between points in the United States (within Alaska), and will apparently have to secure the services of a Russian vessel instead. Continue reading

All talk and no action

A great deal has been said, at the seemingly numberless conferences on (a) piracy, and (b) the Year of the Seafarer, that (c) there is a shortage of qualified seafarers; (d) that “criminalisation” of the seafarer is a growing problem; that (e) better training is needed; and that (f) we of the shipping community must do something about these problems. Continue reading

Clarifying the STCW issues

In June, delegates to the Revision Conference of the International Maritime Organisation on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping will meet in Manila to take up 13 draft resolutions dealing with such issues as recruitment and retention, crewing levels, and the like. Continue reading

The ‘ramifications’ of training

In the run-up to the STCW Conference in Manila this June, India has proposed that there be mandatory space for training berths provided on all new ships. This will be one of the more heated issues to be discussed. Additional space to accommodate trainee cadets (which might become mandatory) is seemingly attractive, in light of the IMO’s current “Go to Sea” campaign. But there are, as is so often the case, ramifications. Continue reading