In celebration of the besieged element of shipping

As you may, or may not know, this year has been dedicated to the human element of shipping – The Seafarer.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has dedicated this year to The Seafarer. The theme refers the to the general direction of the World Maritime Day. World Maritime Day 2010 will be observed during the week of 20 to 24 September 2010 and will be celebrated at the Organization’s Headquarters, in London, on Thursday, 23 September 2010, with a parallel event being celebrated in Argentina.

Here is a blurb about it from the IMO press release.

” The theme – to be celebrated throughout the year and also at a World Maritime Day parallel event in Argentina – was selected to give IMO and the international maritime community the opportunity to pay tribute to the world’s seafarers for their unique contribution to society and in recognition of the risks they shoulder in the execution of their duties in an often hostile environment.

In proposing it, Secretary-General Mitropoulos said that “the unique hazards confronting the 1.5 million seafarers of the world – including pirate attacks, unwarranted detention and abandonment – coupled with the predicted looming shortage of ships’ officers, make it ever more incumbent to take immediate and effective action to forestall a situation from developing in which ships are not manned with sufficient skilled personnel”.

The theme complements IMO’s ongoing “Go to Sea!” campaign to attract new entrants to the shipping industry, which was launched in November 2008 in association with the International Labour Organization, the “Round Table” of shipping industry organizations and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

It is also in line with the comprehensive review, initiated in 2006, of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978 and its associated Code, updated texts of which are due to be considered by a Diplomatic Conference scheduled to be held in Manila, Philippines, in mid-2010. Once adopted, the proposed amendments to the STCW Convention and Code will provide the necessary global standards for the training and certification of seafarers to man technologically advanced ships, today and for some time to come. “

Past themes have included “Sea’s the Future” (2007), “IMO: 60 years in the service of shipping” (2008), “Climate Change” (2009). World Maritime Day celebrations is documented here. Please see the IMO website for more information on GO TO SEA! campaign. Here is the Secretary General of the IMO, announcing the theme.

The trade publication, Lloyd’s List, is also celebrating Seafarers by requesting sea stories from active seafarers, to be published in ‘The List’. Click here for more information. Bimco is a strong supporter of the events and has some more information in line with the theme.

Picture of the The Seafarer’s Memorial, Wakefield Quay, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand by David Wall.

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