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Fuel for thought from Union during Seafarers Awareness Week

21 June 2018

Petrol stations will this month pump out the Union's message of how vital seafarers are for the UK economy – with 95% of everything that is imported to the UK, including the oil for our petrol and diesel, coming by sea.

Nautilus is supporting Seafarers Awareness Week (23-30 June) and the IMO International Day of the Seafarer (25 June), with several ad-placements in petrol station forecourts highlighting to motorists that this 'fuel was delivered to you by seafarers.'

It is hoped the initiative will raise awareness amongst the general public, making them think about where their fuel comes from. It will also support the Union's campaign for Jobs, Skills and the Future, and the theme of the awareness week which focuses on employment within the maritime sector.

Speaking ahead of Seafarers Awareness Week, general secretary, Mark Dickinson, said: 'As an island nation we depend on the sea, and on seafarers for 95 per cent of everything we use, and consume. We want to remind the British public just how reliant we are on the industry, and petrol is something many of us depend on every day. Without seafarers there would be no fuel in petrol stations, hardly any clothes in our shops, and not enough food on our tables.

'With so many sectors depending on the industry, it has been estimated that every off-shore job results in 50 on land, so it really does have an impact on people's lives'.

A report for Maritime UK shows that despite the UK's reliance on seafarers to deliver almost everything we need to feed and clothe us, and fuel to power our homes and cars, the number of active seafarers has fallen 75% since 1975 - from 90,000, to just over 23,000 today. 

It is estimated that we rely on the shipping industry to support a total of £37.4bn of GVA (gross value added). Nautilus warns that unless more is done to protect jobs and skills in the sector, Britain's seafarers will become so depleted that our economy could be as risk of being held to ransom by other nations with stronger shipping industries, whilst putting our maritime resilience into question. 

Get involved and win

  • Keep an eye on the Nautilus Twitter account during Seafarers Awareness Week for our competition to win a week's worth of fuel, up to £100. All you need to do is retweet with a comment guessing how many million tonnes of crude oil were shipped to the UK by seafarers in 2016.
  • You can also get involved if you see our advert on a pump at a UK petrol station, by taking a photo and sharing it on social media with the hashtags #SeafarersWeek, #GoodDayatSea #SupportSeafarersWellbeing.


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