World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day Quick Facts - ZA

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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 a global observance established by the United Nations (UN), through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), to recognise the invaluable contributions the maritime industry has made to the world's economy. This day highlights the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and environmental protection. By focusing on these essential aspects, World Maritime Day aims to ensure a sustainable and thriving maritime industry that supports international trade and fosters economic growth.

The history of World Maritime Day can be traced back to 1978 when IMO decided to dedicate a day each year to celebrate the maritime sector. For South Africa, the observance holds great significance due to the country's strategic geographic position connecting worldwide maritime routes. South Africa's strong maritime tradition and growing maritime economy demonstrate the importance of this industry to the nation's development. The country has taken several significant steps, such as implementing the Operation Phakisa initiative, aimed at unlocking the potential of the oceans and boosting economic growth, job creation, and sustainable use of marine resources.

In South Africa, World Maritime Day is observed through various events and activities that bring together maritime stakeholders, including the South African government, industry representatives, and maritime institutions. These events, which raise awareness about the significance of the maritime industry, take place on a date determined by the IMO each year, typically falling on the last week of September. This observance helps to underline the crucial role South Africa plays in the global maritime context and fosters a thriving and sustainable maritime industry for the future.

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.
  • Approximately 96% of South Africa's total trade volume is moved by sea, reflecting the significance of the maritime industry for the country's economic growth and development.
  • Constructed between 1666 and 1679, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa.

Top things to do in South Africa for World Maritime Day

  • To enjoy South Africa's spectacular coastline, consider taking a cruise along the coast, visiting interesting ports and enjoying various water-based activities.
  • Robben Island is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site but also has a rich maritime history. It is located in Table Bay, near Cape Town, and offers guided tours that provide insights into its history and significance.

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