World Maritime Day 2021

International shipping transports more than 80 per cent of global trade to people and communities all over the world. World Maritime Day is a global observance created by the United Nations and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), intended to celebrate the maritime industry’s great impact on the world’s economy. The day recognises the importance of maritime security, the marine environment, and shipping safety, embodying a different theme every year.

Theme: Seafarers: at the core of shippingʹs future

This year we raise awareness of seafarers' crucial role in world trade. 2021 marks a year of action for seafarers who have and are continuing to face hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite their vital role as key workers for global supply chains. 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, seafarers have been extending their time at sea without seeing families and friends. During the past year, international travel restrictions, lack of shore leave, and crew changes are just some of the difficulties which have afflicted seafarers. Due to the ever growing demands of global trade, their contributions towards delivering vital goods and enabling business continuity during a pandemic cannot go unrecognised. 

What is Pole Star doing to help?

Pole Star, along with 350 organisations which contribute to maritime trade, have joined in signing the Neptune Agreement. The purpose of this agreement is to raise awareness and pledging to resolute to the following issues:

  • Recognising seafarers as key workers and giving them priority access to vaccines.
  • Establishing and implementing gold health protocols based on existing best practice.
  • Increasing collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes.
  • Ensuring air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers.

What has been done so far?

  • UN resolute to recognise seafarers as key workers.
  • TradeWinds have reported 22% of seafarers to have been vaccinated, indicating a stabilisation of crew change in the upcoming months.
  • The maximum time allowed under Maritime Labour Convention for seafarers to spend at sea has reduced from 0.8% to 0.4%.

These steps are crucial as over 2,000,000 sailors play an important role in transporting food, medicine, energy supplies and other essential raw materials across the globe. 

Find out more about the Neptune declaration on seafarer wellbeing.

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