Day of the Seafarer 2023 highlights role in protection of oceans

Seafarers’ contribution in safeguarding the marine environment was highlighted across the globe on Sunday as the world marked the 2023 Day of the Seafarer.

Day of the Seafarer is marked each year on June 25 to recognise the unique part played in international trade, the world economy and civil society by the seaborne workforce.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), the main global treaty for the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. This year’s Day of the Seafarer reflects the 2023 World Maritime Day theme, “MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on”.

It emphasises IMO’s long history of protecting the environment from the impact of shipping – and its ongoing commitment to the important work done through this crucial treaty.

In his message for Day of the Seafarer 2023, IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, underlined the part seafarers have in conserving the state of the oceans, as the maritime sector works towards making shipping more environmentally sound and sustainable.

He said, “Seafarers have always played a critical role in helping to protect the health of our ocean and planet, and that role is increasingly important. Every day at sea, they help to enforce IMO’s environment related treaties by implementing rules on garbage, and sewage, and air pollution prevention.

“This year, as we celebrate the 50-year anniversary of our main environmental instrument – the MARPOL Convention – renewing our firm commitment towards the protection of our environment, this remains even more relevant.

“As the shipping industry accelerates its support of the global efforts to combat climate change by moving towards decarbonisation, seafarers’ voices and actions are key to ensuring a just transition to a zero-carbon future.”

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