World Maritime Day focuses on the marine environment, as well as safety and security for boats and ships.

About Maritime Day

World Maritime Day was first held in 1978. Was born to mark the 20th anniversary of the Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention’s entry into force. Celebrations are held to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment. But also to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO’s Work.
World Maritime Day celebrations are usually held during the last week in September.

Since 2005, in addition to the official IMO celebrations held at IMO Headquarters in London, there has been a Parallel Event hosted by a Member State.

Full text of the message by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO, can be downloaded here (English text). 

Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet

The theme for this year is this year is “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet”. This provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals SDGs
This theme also provides to showcase the work that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Member States are undertaking to achieve the targets.

This day will provide opportunities for leaders from various sectors. In fact, it provide to reflect on the work done. Moreover provides to show the urgent steps they further plan towards a sustainable future.

The shipping industry, with the support of the IMO regulatory framework, has already started the transition towards this sustainable future. IMO has  adopted some measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions. These measures helps to reduce the sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil, implement the Ballast Water Management Convention, protect the polar regions, reduce marine litter. Other measures aims to improve the efficiency of shipping through the electronic exchange of information; meet the challenges of the digitalization of shipping and enhance the participation of women in the maritime community.

Read more here

COVID-19 and World Maritime Day 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the professionalism and sacrifice of the two million seafarers who serve on the world’s merchant fleet. Shipping has continued to transport more than 80% of world trade; including vital medical supplies, food and other basic goods that are critical for the COVID-19 response and recovery. Hundreds of thousands of seafarers face a humanitarian crisis as they have been stranded at sea, unable to get off the ships they operate with contracts extended by many months. This needs to be addressed urgently, through Governments designating seafarers as essential workers and ensuring safe crew changes can take place.

This year’s World Maritime Day will be celebrated on 24 September 2020 in the form of an online event, due to social distancing measures caused by the pandemic.