Date: Thursday, 28 September 2023; 46th Anniversary.
Sponsor: United Nations
Coordinator: International Maritime Organization
World Maritime Day is annually celebrated around the world for the following purposes:
- to raise awareness about the importance of the maritime or shipping industry and its vital contribution towards the global economy.
- to honor and appreciate the tireless work of the maritime industry workers.
- to draw public attention to maritime safety and the marine environment.
The first World Maritime Day was celebrated around the world in 1978.
In 1948, the United Nations passed a convention establishing the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), a specialized agency under the United Nations, which entered into force in 1958. In 1982, the IMCO was renamed to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The IMO was established to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping, with a slogan “safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans”. It works together with member states to prevent marine pollution from ships, create safety measures to avoid maritime accidents and damage, build more efficiency in international shipping. It also encourages each member state to promote legislation against piracy and other dangerous activities on the sea.
At its beginning, the IMO had only 21 member states. It now has about 167 member states. This membership includes virtually all the nations of the world with an interest in shipping or maritime affairs and marine or coastal environment.
In 1978, the World Maritime Day was officially proclaimed and launched by the IMO. Since then, the World Maritime Day has been annually celebrated over the global. Initially, the World Maritime Day was celebrated on March 17, the anniversary of the IMO. Eventually, it was moved to the end of September, usually on the last Thursday. Each year, a particular theme is proposed by the IMO for the World Maritime Day campaign to motivate those within the shipping industry.
Annual theme in recent years:
2023 theme: “MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on”.
2022 theme: “New technologies for greener shipping”
2021 theme: “Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future”