Day of the Seafarer

Day of the Seafarer Quick Facts - NZ

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2024 Date25 June 2024
2025 Date25 June 2025

Day of the Seafarer

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Day of the Seafarer History

The Day of the Seafarer is an international event devoted to recognizing the vital role that seafarers play in global trade and the world economy. Established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), this day seeks to raise awareness of the seafaring community while ensuring their safety, welfare, and security. Furthermore, the Day of the Seafarer highlights the importance of sustainable shipping practices and their contribution towards maintaining a healthy ocean environment.

The inception of this Observance took place in 2010 when the IMO designated June 25th as the annual Day of the Seafarer. In New Zealand, a maritime nation with a rich seafaring heritage, this event is highly relevant. The country relies heavily on seaborne trade, with about 99% of its imports and exports carried by sea. Additionally, New Zealand's maritime industry employs thousands of people, making the recognition and support of seafarers' well-being and safety extremely significant to the nation's economy and labour market.

In New Zealand, the Day of the Seafarer is observed through various activities that promote maritime safety and seafarer welfare. Educational events and seminars are organized to raise awareness about the challenges faced by seafarers, as well as the policies designed to protect them. Moreover, local maritime organizations engage in commemorative activities, including ceremonies and award presentations, honouring the achievements and contributions of seafarers in New Zealand. The Day of the Seafarer is observed annually on June 25th, providing an opportunity to strengthen the bond between the maritime industry and the nation's commitment to ensuring the well-being of its seafarers.

Day of the Seafarer facts

  • The theme for Day of the Seafarer in 2024 will be Navigating the future: safety first!.
    In 2023 the theme was MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on.
  • Worldwide, only about 2% to 10% of maritime containers are inspected.
  • In 2020, the day took on special significance because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many seafarers were stranded at sea due to travel restrictions, which prevented crew changes, and led to significant international attention to their plight.
  • According to Maritime New Zealand, around 99% of New Zealand’s trade (imports and exports) are transported by sea.
  • The nation boasts a rich history of seafaring, from early Polynesian exploration to modern maritime industry and naval defense.

Top things to do in NZ for Day of the Seafarer

  • Learn more about the issues seafarers are facing.
  • Browse the International Maritime Organization's publications and learn more about the maritime industry and seafarers.
  • Visit Wellington’s Museum of Wellington City & Sea. Dive into the maritime history of Wellington and its harbor through engaging exhibits and storytelling.
  • Visit the Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Located near Dunedin, this conservation project focuses on restoring ecosystems and preserving New Zealand's native flora and fauna. It is also home to the SS Otago, a ship that now serves as a floating museum.

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