Dubai-based Ship Management Company Faces Criticism for Seafarer Abandonment

In a shocking revelation, Dubai-based ship management company Middle East Marine LLC faces scrutiny for the worst case of serial seafarer abandonment. Over 100 seafarers endured abuse and neglect, prompting urgent calls for action. Despite violations, authorities have been notably absent, compounding the suffering of exploited seafarers.
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Dubai-based ship management company Middle East Marine LLC is under scrutiny for alleged serial seafarer abandonment, described by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) as the worst case ever seen. Over 100 seafarers from India, Indonesia, and Myanmar have faced harsh conditions including lack of food, impure water, withheld passports, and unpaid salaries. The ITF has reported 17 abandonments involving 18 vessels in Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka since November 2022, sparking urgent calls for action from international authorities.

Seafarers have reported being unpaid for months, fishing for survival due to lack of meals and fresh water. Despite international laws mandating timely payment and provision of necessities, competent authorities, particularly the Palau maritime authority, have failed to respond effectively. The ITF has urged the UAE government and Palau to intervene and uphold maritime and human rights laws. The situation has raised concerns about modern-day indentured slavery and the lack of accountability of entities like Middle East Marine and Palau.

The ITF’s Inspectorate Coordinator, Steve Trowsdale, has expressed deep worry for the impacted crew members, calling Middle East Marine a “stain on the global maritime industry.” Seafarers’ tragic experiences paint a grim picture of exploitation and despair, highlighting the need for immediate action to address the violations. Despite rising criticism, concerns remain about the responsibility of those involved, as seafarers continue to endure extreme exploitation and limited rights.

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