Every year, in the last week of September, people from around the world are celebrating World Maritime Day. The reason for this is to stress on the importance of ocean health and to remind everyone how important it is to take care of our seas and oceans, as they are a great influence to our health, climate and food.
The World Maritime Day is a global observance day which was established by the United Nations. It was first celebrated on the 17th March 1978. The date differs every year, but it is usually celebrated in the last Thursday of September. Therefore, this year the World Maritime Day will be celebrated on the 29th September. It is always celebrated at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Headquarters but anyone can celebrate by raising awareness of the importance of safe and eco-friendly shipping.
There is a different theme chosen every year and in 2016, the theme is “Shipping: indispensable to the world”. This theme was chosen to highlight the link between shipping and global society. “Around 80 per cent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent of global trade by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide” (source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development). This means that the World’s economy relies quite heavily on shipping and therefore on seas and oceans.
Unfortunately, decades of shipping and exploiting oceans increased pollution and affected marine life in many ways. Luckily it’s not just bad news, as things started to change thanks to the International Maritime Organization which has been developing and implementing strickter regulations for environmental protection, maritime safety and other related areas and thankfully. Over the past 50 years shipping has became more environmental-friendly and in the same time more efficient.