DAY OF THE SEAFARER
Every year on June 25th, the Day of the Seafarer recognizes the valuable contribution seafarers make to international trade and the world economy.
Seafarers regularly travel by sea and are commonly called sailors. Many seafarers work in the shipping industry and are responsible for about 90 percent of world trade. They transport food, fuel, raw materials, and manufactured goods by sea.
Here are some other facts to consider about seafarers and international trade:
- 50,000 merchant ships transport every kind of cargo.
- Over 150 nations have registered merchant ships.
- Over a million seafarers of nearly every nationality man the world’s fleet.
Another important reason to recognize seafarers is how difficult the job can be. Besides their contribution to the world economy, there are other important reasons to recognize seafarers. Their job is not an easy one. They sail for long periods of time away from home. As a result, they miss out on holidays, family events, and funerals. Seafarers also navigate through rough weather, often involving monstrous waves on the sea.
Other dangers seafarers face include traveling through war zones, pirates, and exposure to certain health conditions. Some countries force seafarers to go without basic rights, such as proper insurance and compensation for medical treatment.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DayOfTheSeafarer
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) encourages people around the world to take to the Internet and show their support of seafarers. Their online campaign asks everyone to use social media to thank a seafarer and to show them the respect they deserve. In previous years, the IMO hosted an online photo contest. Seafarers shared photos showing the world what a good day at sea looked like. If you know a seafarer, give them a shout out on social media with #DayOfTheSeafarer.
DAY OF THE SEAFARER HISTORY
In 2010, the Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) adopted a resolution establishing the Day of the Seafarer. Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, hosted the conference. They observed the first official Day of the Seafarer on June 25th, 2011. The UN also recognizes the observance, and it is administered by the IMO.