For the third year running, BLUE is working with the International Maritime Organization to drive greater awareness of the Day of the Seafarer, which takes place annually on 25th June. Increasing in reach and engagement each year, the Day of the Seafarer highlights the vital contribution that seafarers make in enabling our everyday lives as the force that connects global supply chains.
The numbers are compelling. More than 90% of world trade is carried by ship. Over 9 billion tonnes of products and commodities are transported every year on a global fleet of over 50,000 ships trading internationally and manned by more than one million seafarers.
However, figures on a page cannot effectively convey the world’s reliance on its seafarers. Without them, we would not have the food, fuel, raw materials and products that we all rely upon to sustain our way of life. Put simply in a world without shipping and seafarers, half the world would starve and the other half would freeze.
Moreover, seafarers perform this role with outstanding dedication, professionalism and skill, often in adverse and challenging circumstances. It is not just a question of moving a cargo from its port of origin to its destination, but doing so in a way that protects the world’s coastal communities, the marine environment and other vessels from the inherent risks involved — on every voyage.
Social media is providing seafarers — at sea for months at a time — with new ways to connect with their families and friends. Today, it is also a platform to show our appreciation on a global scale.
Once again, we have been pleased to see the fantastic response today and in recent weeks, from across the marine industry. We have also been delighted to see the campaign gaining traction in the public arena through support from influential personalities such as Stephen Fry and James Cracknell. You too can get involved on Twitter and Facebook: write #thankyouseafarers and show what seafarers have brought you by completing the phrase ‘seafarer’s brought me….’ with a picture!