World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day Quick Facts - CA

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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 is a significant international observance designated by the United Nations, aimed at recognizing the contributions of the global maritime community to the world's economy and promoting safe, secure, and environmentally-friendly shipping practices. Due to the importance of shipping on an international scale, it serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about industry-related issues, foster maritime education and training, and encourage action to ensure the sustainability of the global maritime environment.

The origins of World Maritime Day date back to 1978, when the United Nations first recognized the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a specialized agency. Since then, various themes relating to shipping, maritime affairs, and the global economy have been addressed annually. In relation to Canada, the observance is particularly meaningful given the country's extensive coastline, rich maritime history, and vital role in international shipping and maritime trade. It highlights Canada's commitment to maintaining safe and secure maritime practices while promoting sustainable and economically viable shipping operations.

In Canada, World Maritime Day is typically observed through various events and activities organized by governmental maritime bodies, educational institutions, and private organizations. These activities may include seminars, panel discussions, and exhibitions, all aimed at fostering collaboration and conversation on maritime affairs, while also emphasizing the importance of shipping for the country's trade and economic growth. World Maritime Day is typically held during the last week of September each year, with the exact date varying annually in accordance with the scheduling of IMO-related events.

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.
  • Canada relies heavily on marine transportation to move goods and people both domestically and internationally. The Port of Vancouver is the largest port in Canada and the third-largest in North America, handling over 140 million tons of cargo annually.
  • Canada has a long history of shipbuilding, dating back to the 17th century when Europeans first established shipyards in the region.

Top things to do in Canada for World Maritime Day

  • Visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which showcases the history of Halifax's seafaring past, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the infamous Titanic disaster.
  • Check out the Vancouver Maritime Museum, which has various exhibits related to maritime history and exploration, including the St. Roch – a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police Arctic schooner.

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