International Day of the Seafarer
In 2010, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) designated June 25 as the International Day of the Seafarer as a way to recognize that almost everything that we use in our daily lives has been directly or indirectly affected by sea transport. Some examples:
Items made offshore are shipped in shipping containers by sea, then by rail and truck to a local store for consumers to buy; or as parts to a local assembly plant ex. vehicles.
Food is transported, such as grain from Thunder Bay, and as it is exported, it provides wages and taxes that enable Thunder Bay's economy to flourish.
Crude oil is transported by ship and rail and processed at the refinery in Saint John NB, and gasoline and fuel oil are transported by tanker in the Great Lakes, even to Thunder Bay.
The purpose of the day is to give thanks to seafarers for their contribution to the world economy and the civil society; and for the risks and personal costs they bear while on their jobs.
According to IMO's estimates, ships transport almost 90 percent of the world’s goods trade. Seafarers are not only responsible for the operations of such ships, but are also responsible for the safe and smooth delivery of the cargo. Some facts (2017):
52,000 ships world wide;
1,647,000 seafarers world wide; and
US$614 International Labour Organization (ILO) minimum monthly basic wage for an Able Seaman; wages may be higher when negotiated in a labour contract
The day not only acknowledges the invaluable work of seafarers, but also aims to bring global attention to the issues affecting their work and lives, such as piracy. It calls on governments to develop policies that lead to fair treatment of seafarers at ports, and asks private ship companies and owners to provide their employees proper facilities and comforts while they are at sea.