The International Day of the Seafarer, observed on June 25 each year, celebrates the seafarers all over the world and recognizes them for their hard work.
International Day of the Seafarer was first observed in 2011 and has since been added to the annual list of United Nations Observances. Seafarers have valuable contributions to the world economy and international trade, and their work often comes at a “great personal cost” since they have to be away from their families. This contribution, however, is often overlooked, and the seafarers are still underappreciated.
“Without seafarers, there would be no shipping and this day, every year, gives us a chance to recognize and pay tribute to seafarers everywhere, whatever their voyage,” said International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim in his address for this year’s celebration.
This year, the theme is “Your voyage-then and now, share your journey.” As a part of the celebration, the IMO is encouraging seafarers all over the world to share their journey as a seafarer by sharing two photos: one during their first voyage and another on their most recent one.
“Every seafarer’s journey is different, but they all face similar challenges,” noted the IMO. “Tell us what has changed. Is shipping greener? Is the technology better? Are you more skilled? What have you learnt?”
They can use #SeafarerJourney to share their stories or highlight their voyages, though anyone may also use it to thank and pay tribute to the seafarers of the world.
Others may also celebrate by donating to organizations that help support the families of seafarers. They may also choose to learn more about the life of seafarers, whether by reading or watching a movie about them, or perhaps by researching a little more about their life at sea and their many contributions.
For instance, did you know that the vast majority of international trade is still being done by sea? Ships carry valuable cargo such as food, electronics and medicine, and we owe much of how they get around the world to the seafarers working hard on these ships.
On this day, let’s give them the proper credit that they deserve.