The Day of the Seafarer 2023
Later this week we once again celebrate the Day of the Seafarer. For those not in the know or who don’t work in a job at sea, the day is a yearly international observance which is held on June 25th. The aim is to recognize the work that seafarers do and to draw attention to the important role they play in the global economy.
Each year, the Day of the Seafarer has a different theme. So what is this year’s and what is the history of the Day of the Seafarer? Let’s take a look.
The history of the Day of the Seafarer
The Day of the Seafarer was established by the IMO - the International Maritime Organization in June 2010 to highlight the importance of maritime careers and the work done by all of those hard working men and women at sea.
A resolution was adopted by the Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, held in the Philippines, which adopted major revisions to the STCW Convention and Code.
However the first Day of the Seafarer to be celebrated was the following year in 2011 and since then, each year the IMO invites governments, shipping organizations, companies, shipowners and all other relevant parties and individuals to promote and celebrate the day in “an appropriate and meaningful manner.”
The Day of the Seafarer has now been included in the annual list of United Nations Observances.
Read more: The Day of the Seafarer 2019
The important role seafarers have to play
Seafarers have a huge role to play in the transportation of goods around the world. And as mentioned, this is essential to bolstering the global economy. However, seafarers often work in difficult and dangerous conditions - bad weather and a multitude of machinery and equipment onboard to name just two.
In addition to this, many of them spend months at a time away from their homes, families and friends. Something which can take a toll on the mental health of those who work in a job at sea.
Read more: World Marine Aids to Navigation Day
The Day of the Seafarer is, therefore, a good opportunity to thank seafarers for their hard work and dedication, to raise awareness of the challenges they face, and to show them that oftentimes they are out of sight, but they are not out of mind.
What is the theme of the 2023 Day of the Seafarer?
In the IMO’s words “For 2023, the campaign will look at seafarers' contribution to protecting the marine environment, in line with the World Maritime theme “MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on”.
The reason for this being that because seamen and women spend so much of their time at sea, they are naturally an important part of the solution when it comes to protecting the marine environment.
Read more: The Day of the Seafarer 2020
As part of the 2023 Day of the Seafarer campaign, the IMO is asking seafarers to share a picture of the marine environment surrounding them while they are at sea with the goal being to shine a spotlight on the marine environment and demonstrate that it is well worth protecting.
They are asking seafarers to share their photos on social media using the 2023 campaign hashtag #OceansWorthProtecting.
If you want to read more about the IMO and the Day of the Seafarer theme and objectives, including the video message from the organization’s Secretary-General Kitack Lim check out their website here.
How can I participate in the Day of the Seafarer 2023?
There are plenty of ways to celebrate the Day of the Seafarer. For example, you could try any of the following ideas:
- Attend a local event if you live near the sea or a port
- Write a letter or send a message to a seafarer if you know one
- Donate to a charity or organization that supports seafarers - we’ll list a few below
- Learn more about the work of seafarers and the maritime industry - our blog is a good place to start!
Whether you’re someone who works in a job at sea or you are just interested in the maritime industry and seafarer careers, by recognizing the Day of the Seafarer you can help to raise crucial awareness of the important role that seafarers play in the global economy while also showing your support for them and their hard work.
Read more: Day of the Seafarer 2021
What are some organizations that support seafarers?
Seafarers, as we’ve seen, do an important job but are often overlooked. Is it because they’re away at sea and we just ‘don’t see them’? One thing the Covid pandemic made clear is that seamen and women are a crucial link in the chain that is the global economy.
The hashtag #SeafarersAreKeyWorkersToo was very much a ‘thing’ and only served to show how often this group of trained, licensed and professional people are!
So if you would like to consider showing your support for seafarers, these organizations and charities are a good place to start. You can follow their links and also find a brief explanation of who they are in their own words;
- The Mission to Seafarers - a Christian organization that “...provides help and support to the 1.89 million crewmen and women who face danger every day to keep our global economy afloat.”
- The Seafarers Charity - “Supporting UK merchant navy seamen and their families.”
- Stella Maris - “…the largest ship-visiting network in the world. We improve the lives of seafarers and fishers through our network of local chaplains and seafarer centres, expert information, advocacy, and spiritual support.
- Sailors Society - “Sailors' Society is a global maritime welfare charity supporting seafarers and their families in need, day and night 365 days a year.”
- WISTA International - “...the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association is a global organisation connecting female executives and decision-makers around the world. WISTA International serves as a connector for its network of more than 3,800 female professionals from all sectors of the maritime industry.”
We hope you find these resources useful and all that is left for us to say is Happy Day of the Seafarer 2023 and thank you once again for all of your amazing work at sea!
Eve is Martide's content writer and publishes regular posts on everything from our maritime recruitment and crew planning software to life at sea.