The Mariner Survey Program is a joint effort between the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD). The first survey was conducted in the spring of 2001 and focused on issues of concern to the maritime administration at that time-the two most important of which were how difficult is it to locate mariners given the transient nature of their employment and how many mariners would be willing to serve in the event of a national defense emergency. That first survey effort resulted in locating 54% of the 10,000-member sample (90% of whom completed a survey).
The second mariner survey was fielded in the spring of 2002. Several of the questions from the first survey were repeated in the 2002 version to allow MARAD to monitor how things change or stay the same.
The 2002 survey will also provide MARAD with information on the number of mariners with deep-sea service and the breakout of mariners by type of license or mariner document. In addition, results will show:
- how current mariner afloat experience is,
- in what type of position mariners last sailed, and
- the type of vessel they sailed on.
- what percent of mariners intend to complete the new STCW requirements and how far along they are in the process,
- and how many are willing to sail in a National defense emergency.
Based on survey results MARAD will be able to answer the question of whether there really are shortages of qualified mariners and, if so, where those shortages exist. Survey results will also provide the unions and training centers with the information needed to modify training and recruitment programs and to justify the resources needed to accomplish those modifications. Finally, survey results will be used in planning for mobilization in a National defense emergency.
The overall response rate in 2001 was 49%. Our response rate as of today is 27%, a gain of 6% over what we had achieved at the same point in last year's project.