Day of the Seafarer 2021

June 25, 2021

Message from Ard-Jan Kooren

25th June each year is the IMO Day of the Seafarer, recognizing the invaluable contribution seafarers make to international trade and the world economy. A message from our CEO Ard-Jan Kooren to support IMO’s call for a #FairFuture4Seafarers

The weekends are the hardest. Life has pretty much been picked up at home, and on Saturdays and Sundays my friends and family go out and about to enjoy themselves. I am happy for them, but it makes me realize even more that we’re stuck here. Still though, I wouldn’t change my job in a million years.”

“This quote from Patrick Klooster in an interview last year touched me,” says Ard-Jan Kooren, CEO of KOTUG International. “Patrick is one of our captains who was stuck on his vessel for more than four months due to COVID-19 restrictions. It is an exemplary story for thousands of seafarers around the globe. The uncertainty of repatriation, the disappointment of another failed attempt to get on a plane, being so far away from home, and yet still having that passion for your profession. That sparkle. That’s the spirit of seafarers I’ve seen during my entire career of 31 years.”

Seafarers on priority list vaccinations
“Last year the Day of the Seafarer focused its message around urging governments to recognize seafarers as key workers. Important steps were made, and seafarers are included in the priority list for vaccination in many countries. We are grateful that in a growing number of countries the COVID-19 vaccination program for seafarers has started. It is good to see that our joint efforts to convince governments about this do make a difference! On the other hand, we all know that the pandemic will not be over anywhere until it is over everywhere, and that means getting vaccines to every country as soon as possible. I see this as a shared responsibility, and therefore the Kooren Foundation decided to donate for the supply of vaccinations to countries in need.”

It ain’t over till it’s over
“Still, it ain’t over till it’s over” continues Ard-Jan Kooren, “and we support the IMO in their continued effort to encourage governments to support seafarers amid the pandemic while also calling for a fair future for seafarers. As stated by the IMO, there are still issues that will be relevant to seafarers after the pandemic, such as fair treatment of seafarers, fair working conditions, fair training, fair safety, gender equality etc. Seafarers are a vital part in the world’s logistic supply chain, therefore we fully support the yearly Day of the Seafarer and invite others to also join the movement by sharing IMO’s hashtag #FairFuture4Seafarers.”