Nautilus International, the Union for maritime professionals has called for calm among British shipowners in the wake of the referendum vote in favour of the UK's exit from the European Union.
The call comes after one leading ferry operator, Stena Line, warned members that it has already started to consider the possibility of re-registering its UK-flagged vessels as a result of the Brexit vote.
In a letter to the UK Chamber of Shipping, general secretary Mark Dickinson said he hoped the organisation could provide reassurance and leadership in the face of 'damaging uncertainty' over the impact of the Brexit vote for British seafarers and British shipping.
Mr Dickinson said he was surprised the Chamber had remained neutral ahead of the referendum vote when so many organisations and prominent industry figures, including shipping minister Robert Goodwill and the Lord Mayor of the City of London, had warned of the potentially adverse effects for the UK maritime sector.
He urged Chamber CEO Guy Platten to 'provide a clear message on behalf of British shipowners that the UK maritime industry remains open for business – with a continued commitment to shared policy objectives of growing the national flag fleet and regenerating the pool of British seafarers'.
And he added: 'Many of our members have made huge sacrifices to retain their jobs and to ensure the survival of their companies. It is essential that they are given an emphatic signal of support from shipowners and that concerns are not fuelled by rash statements or pre-emptive actions.'
About Nautilus International:
Nautilus International is the trade union and professional organisation for maritime professionals at sea and ashore. We represent 22,000 maritime professionals including ship masters (captains), officers, officer trainees (cadets) and shipping industry personnel, such as ship pilots, inland navigation workers, vessel traffic services operators (similar to air traffic control), harbourmasters, seafarers in the oil and gas industry, and shore-based staff.