The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) is encouraging people today to voice their support for seafarers through social media as the world marks the first International Day of the Seafarer in honour of sailors' contribution to global commerce.
The UN agency called on the public to use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, post videos on YouTube, discuss seafarer issues on LinkedIn, or even write blogs about life at sea.
Last year, the Diplomatic Conference which met in Manila, Philippines, to adopt revisions to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers – the so-called STCW Convention – and its associated Code, also agreed that the unique contribution of seafarers to international seaborne trade and the world economy should be marked annually with a Day of the Seafarer.
The amendments were formally adopted last year on 25 June, which was then declared the International Day of the Seafarer.
The social media campaign forms the centrepiece of efforts to mark the Day and pay tribute to the world's 1.5 million seafarers – men and women from all over the globe – for their unique, and often overlooked, contribution to humanity.
The campaign, which emphasizes the fact that shipping is the engine of global commerce, responsible for the carriage of more than 90 per cent of world trade, and that seafarers ensure the engine runs smoothly, delivering the essential commodities on which our lives depend, has already garnered support from industry partners and seafarers' groups.