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World Maritime Day

Quick Facts

World Maritime Day is held on the last week of September each year, although the exact date is up to individual governments around the world.

Local names

NameLanguage
World Maritime DayEnglish
Día Marítimo MundialSpanish
עולם יום הימיHebrew
يوم الملاحة البحرية العالميArabic
세계 해양의 날Korean
Welttag des MeeresGerman

World Maritime Day 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

World Maritime Day 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015
List of dates for other years

The United Nations (UN), via the International Maritime Organization (IMO), created World Maritime Day to celebrate the international maritime industry’s contribution towards the world’s economy, especially in shipping. The event’s date varies by year and country but it is always on the last week of September.

Small Syrian harbour in Tartus

World Maritime Day focuses on the marine environment, as well as safety and security for boats and ships..

©iStockphoto.com/Olga Kolos

What do people do?

World Maritime Day focuses on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work. The day also features a special message from the IMO’s secretary-general, which is backed up by a discussion paper on the selected subject in more detail.

World Maritime Day is celebrated in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Many maritime organizations and unions hold special events and activities to celebrate this day. These activities and events range from symposiums to luncheons, as well as school lessons that focus on the day. Some classes may organize a trip to a maritime museum so students can understand the significance of the maritime industry in shaping world history and its importance in world trade.

Public life

World Maritime Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Throughout history, people have understood that international regulations that are followed by many countries worldwide could improve marine safety so many treaties have been adopted since the 19th century. Various countries proposed for a permanent international body to be established to promote maritime safety more effectively but it was not until the UN was established that these hopes were realized. An international conference in Geneva in 1948 adopted a convention formally establishing the IMO, a specialized UN agency that develops and maintains a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping.

The IMO’s original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) but the name was changed in 1982 to IMO. The IMO focuses on areas such as safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.

World Maritime Day was first held on March 17, 1978 to mark the date of the IMO Convention’s entry into force in 1958. At that time, the organization had 21 member states. It now has about 167 member states and three associate members. This membership includes virtually all the nations of the world with an interest in maritime affairs, including those involved in the shipping industry and coastal states with an interest in protecting their maritime environment.

Note: The dates below are a rough guide on when World Maritime Day is observed, based on the most recent previous dates it was observed by the UN. It is also important to note that the exact date is left to individual governments but is usually celebrated during the last week in September.

External links

IMO: World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
ThuSep 271990World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 261991World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 241992World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 231993World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 221994World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 281995World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 261996World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 251997World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 241998World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 231999World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 282000World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 272001World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 262002World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 252003World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 232004World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 222005World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 282006World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 272007World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 252008World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 242009World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 232010World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 222011World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 272012World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 262013World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 252014World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 242015World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 222016World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 282017World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 272018World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 262019World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 242020World Maritime DayUnited Nations observance 
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