Women in the marine industry in Africa face significant obstacles in obtaining the necessary sea time to qualify for employment. Manning agencies in West Africa are either non-existent or unable to compete with those in countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. Additionally, visa restrictions and expensive travel further hinder opportunities for women in the industry. Gender discrimination is prevalent worldwide, with women making up only 1.2% of the global seafarer workforce, according to the International Maritime Organization.
To address these challenges, Sea Shepherd Global has received a grant from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation to support four cadets. The grant will cover flights, travel insurance, and monthly stipends for these cadets to join Sea Shepherd’s campaigns against illegal fishing in Africa. They will work alongside experienced Chief Engineers or Bridge Officers to complete their logbooks, which are required for a Certificate of Competency, a qualification needed to become a fully qualified seafarer.
Sea Shepherd Global is dedicated to providing underrepresented seafarers with professional seagoing experience while upholding industry standards for safety, crew welfare, and training. This partnership with the Lloyd’s Register Foundation is a result of connections made between Sea Shepherd Global and African Women in Maritime during the Africa Blue Economy Forum in 2019. It aims to promote marine conservation and advance the careers of women in the marine industry.
According to Captain Peter Hammarstedt, Sea Shepherd Global’s Director of Campaigns, this initiative is a significant step toward promoting marine conservation and supporting the careers of underrepresented seafarers. Bea Agüera, Sea Shepherd Global’s Crew Coordinator, emphasizes their commitment to breaking down gender barriers in the maritime world and sees this partnership as a reflection of that commitment.
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