MARITIME organisations have used International Day of the Seafarer to recognise mariners unable to return home during the pandemic.

Maritime Industry Australia CEO Teresa Lloyd said the repatriation of mariners was “a global issue which makes it an Australian issue”.

“We have to play our part in the solution,” she said.

Ms Lloyd said mariners were the “ultimate FIFO workforce”.

“By their very nature they travel to join vessels, work on those vessels wherever they may go and return home once their swing has ended,” she said.

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Ms Lloyd said Australia was particularly reliant upon the maritime sector with the resources sector expected to generate $256bn in exports this year.

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said seafarers were the “invisible workforce”, responsible for supplying crucial supplies and fuel.

“Put simply, without seafarers, Australia’s economy and society would collapse almost overnight,” he said.

Mr Crumlin also criticised Liberal/National Coalition governments for failing to do more to restore Australian-flagged shipping.

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