The BIMCO/ICS maritime manpower surveys have been consistently indicating a shortage of seafarer officers. However, due to data deficiencies, this shortage thesis has been challenged. This paper develops a new methodological approach to estimating the supply and demand for officers. It analyses and triangulates different sets of data released by national maritime authorities. The analysis shows that in fact there is an oversupply of officers. Nevertheless, the supply of chief officers and second engineers may be tight. This insight can help maritime authorities and the industry make informed decisions regarding maritime human resource development. Furthermore, the new approach provides a useful tool for national maritime authorities to work out and monitor the supply and demand balance of their seafarer officers.