This year, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Day of the Seafarer campaign will celebrate Seafarers under the theme “At Sea For All” to let the world know how and why Seafarers are indispensable to everyone.
The theme has a clear link with the World Maritime Day 2016 theme, “Shipping: indispensable to the world” emphasizing that Seafarers serve at sea not just for the shipping industry or for their own career purposes, but for all of us – and, consequently, they are also “indispensable to the world”.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “This year, on June 25th, the Day of the Seafarer, we are once again asking people everywhere to show their appreciation for the Seafarers that quietly, mostly unnoticed, keep the wheels of the world in motion”.
To promote the important theme of “At Sea For All”, Seafarers, those in the maritime industry and those who have benefited from the work of Seafarers are encouraged to get involved through Twitter, using the IMO hashtag #AtSeaForAll to share what Seafarers mean to you.
Being a relatively small twin-island nation, Antigua and Barbuda relies heavily on ships duly run by Seafarers to deliver virtually all its goods, as well as to transport large numbers of tourists to the Islands. Importantly, ships and their Seafarers also bring oil that is heavily relied on to produce the electrical power which is so necessary in both homes and businesses, and also increasingly used to produce vital fresh water.
In November 2015, Antigua and Barbuda was one of the first countries in the world to form a Port Welfare Committee to pilot an international initiative to protect and enhance the welfare of Seafarers as part of the International Seafarers’ Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN). https://www.portwelfare.org/case-study-3–antigua—barbuda.html
A survey of all Seafarers visiting the Islands will shortly be launched to better understand their needs and thus establish the best way to progress this initiative to the benefit of everyone.
Antigua and Barbuda has responsibility for ensuring appropriate safety and welfare standards for the numerous Seafarers on board an estimated 1,000 internationally trading vessels registered with the islands.
We should not forget that this day follows on soon after the UN’s World Oceans Day which was held on June 8th 2016 under the theme, “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”.