World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateSeptember 26, 2024
2025 DateSeptember 25, 2025

World Maritime Day

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World Maritime Day History

World Maritime Day seeks to recognize the importance of international maritime industries such as shipping, ports, and marine services. This global event acknowledges the maritime community's efforts in ensuring maritime security, safeguarding the marine environment, and advancing international maritime safety standards. With over 80% of global trade by volume and more than 70% by value carried by sea, World Maritime Day aims to raise awareness about the significance of maritime transportation for the global economy.

The first World Maritime Day was celebrated in 1978 to mark the twentieth anniversary of the IMO Convention's entry into force. For Americans, this observance highlights the crucial role the maritime sector plays in the nation's trade, economy, and national security. The United States marine transportation system includes more than 25,000 miles of navigable channels, over 300 ports, and 3.4 million square miles of exclusive economic zones, directly supporting millions of jobs across various industries. The United States Coast Guard, an essential component in maintaining maritime safety and security, represents Americans' contributions to this vital international sector, ensuring the smooth functioning of international trade.

To observe World Maritime Day in America, various maritime organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies organize seminars, conferences, and other events to discuss and raise awareness about maritime safety, marine pollution, and the overall importance of the maritime industry. These events provide networking opportunities for professionals and showcase the American maritime infrastructure's commitment to global standards and innovations. World Maritime Day's theme and date may vary each year, but it is typically observed during the last week of September, as determined by the IMO.

World Maritime Day facts

  • The theme for World Maritime Day in 2023 was MARPOL at 50- Our commitment goes on.
  • Between 1990 and 2020, the volume of cargo transported by ships more than doubled, from four to nearly 10.7 billion tons.
  • The three biggest shipping fleets in the world are owned by Greece, Japan, and Germany. The U.S is fifth.
  • In its lifetime, one large container ship travels the distance of the moon and back almost 10 times.

Top things to do in the US for World Maritime Day

  • Cities like New York, San Francisco, and Seattle offer beautiful views of the city skyline from the water. Taking a ferry ride is an excellent way to appreciate the maritime industry.
  • Another way to appreciate maritime life is to visit an aquarium. There are numerous renowned aquariums across the United States such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the National Aquarium (Baltimore), or Georgia Aquarium.
  • Check if institutions like the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, or California Maritime Academy have events open to the public.

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