ITF targets 1,000 ships flagged to the Cook Islands, Palau, Sierra Leone, and Togo for safety, maintenance and seafarer welfare inspections across the Mediterranean Sea in the coming eight weeks, by inspectors from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), seafarers’ unions and port authorities.

“Substandard shipping in the Mediterranean Sea is driving down seafarers’ wages and conditions, its endangering the lives of crew and risking our environment,” said ITF Inspectorate Coordinator Steve Trowsdale in a press release.

The International Transport Workers´ Federation warns that that inspectors will board the vessels to check on safety, maintenance and seafarer welfare.

This “army” of personnel as the say in their announcement will have the support of the seafarers´ unions and port authorities.

As the ITF union said yesterday “The blitz comes off the back of new analysis showing the four Flags of Convenience registries together accounted for more than 100 crew abandoned in the last two years, with millions of dollars wages not paid to crew by the flags’ shipowners that the ITF then had to recover on seafarers’ behalf.”

The ITF inspectors’ efforts will be bolstered in France by the country’s Port State Control agencies, which are organised regionally, Trowsdale said.