World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date26 September 2024
2025 Date25 September 2025

World Maritime Day

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World Maritime Day History

World Maritime Day is an international observance that aims to acknowledge the significant contributions made by the global shipping industry as well as its importance to the world economy. Established by the United Nations (UN), the day also serves to raise awareness of the maritime sector's crucial role in ensuring safe, secure, and environmentally responsible shipping. This celebration highlights the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and the protection of the marine environment, with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) coordinating events and activities across the globe.

The history of World Maritime Day traces back to 1978, following the adoption of a resolution in 1976 during the second UN Conference on Trade and Development. For people in the United Kingdom, World Maritime Day holds considerable significance, as the UK has historically been, and still is, a major player in global shipping. The UK is home to several key shipping routes, numerous ports, and maritime educational institutions such as the well-known Warsash Maritime Academy and Fleetwood Nautical Campus. British maritime professionals and shipping organisations contribute significantly to the development of international maritime policies and safety standards.

In the United Kingdom, World Maritime Day is observed with various events that reflect the theme chosen by the IMO each year. These events may include discussions, seminars, and exhibitions aimed at promoting awareness of the maritime industry and related issues. British maritime organisations and educational institutions, such as the Department for Transport, Maritime UK, and maritime academies, often participate in these events to support the observance. World Maritime Day is observed annually in the last week of September, with the exact date varying each year.

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.
  • The UK is a world leader in offshore wind energy, with the largest installed capacity of any country. Offshore wind farms located around the British coast can supply over 10 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power millions of homes.
  • Maritime trade has long been essential to the UK's economy. Even today, roughly 95% of the country's trade in goods is transported by sea, making the UK one of the world's leading maritime trading nations.

Top things to do in the UK for World Maritime Day

  • Take a trip to coastal cities and towns like Portsmouth, Plymouth, or Dover to take in the maritime atmosphere.
  • Explore historic maritime ships, such as the HMS Victory, in Portsmouth, the SS Great Britain in Bristol, or the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh.

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