World Maritime Day is observed every year on the last Thursday of every September. This year it will be observed on September 30, 2020.
The purpose of the day is to appreciate the importance of maritime industry and to underline the importance of maritime security, maritime environment, safety, and shipping.
The day also marks the day of adaptation of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) convention in 1958. It was first observed in 1978.
How Can I Celebrate World Maritime Day?
Celebrations to mark International Maritime Day do vary globally. In India for instance, an awards ceremony will be held to recognise the contribution which has been made by members of the Indian Maritime industry over the past 12 months.
In other countries, we encourage everyone to mark the occasion in their own way. Those working in the industry should encourage their company and colleagues to fundraise on the day in recognition. Or, you may wish to organise a coffee morning to raise money for The Mission to Seafarers.
Alternatively, if you are a teacher, you may want to put together a lesson which educates children into the world of seafaring and the vital role that those in the industry play in our everyday lives. We have a number of learning resources for teachers available to download for free online.
This year’s event will centre around an international conference held on World Maritime Day in South Africa where industry influencers will convene to raise awareness of the focus issues on the back of what has been a challenging year for those in the seafaring community.
World Maritime Day Meaning
World Maritime Day is an annual celebration founded by the United Nations (UN) in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) which celebrates the contribution that the maritime industry makes towards the world’s overall economy.
Without the international transportation of goods which is facilitated by those in the maritime industry, the world’s economy would be unable to function. This is a fact which is overlooked by many, with World Maritime Day being organised to help address this issue.
It was first held on March 17th 1978 to mark the 20th anniversary of the IMOs entry into force in 1958. Since its conception, the IMO has expanded from the original 21 member states to 167 and it now encompasses all major nations who are involved in the maritime industry.
Which Day is World Maritime Day Celebrated On?
World Maritime Day 2021 will officially take place on the 25th September. This keeps it in line with recent celebrations which have all taken place in the last week of September.
Please note that the exact date of world maritime day does vary from year to year as well as from country to country.
World Maritime Day 2021 Theme
The IMO has been responsible for choosing the World Maritime Day 2021 theme which will be “Seafarers: At the Core of Shipping’s Future”.
As ever, the focus of this is to increase awareness of the invaluable work that seafarers do to keep the worldwide economy afloat.
This year, recognition is more deserved than ever before on account of the COVID-19 pandemic which has presented many challenges to seafarers. International travel restrictions, lack of shore leave and crew changes are just some of the difficulties which have afflicted seafarers due to this unprecedented situation. World Maritime Day 2021 will aim to shine a light on these issues which are still afflicting many seafarers across the globe.