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2010: Year of the Seafarer

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  • 2010: Year of the Seafarer

    2010: Year of the Seafarer

    The Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), meeting for its 102nd session in London (29 June to 3 July 2009), agreed that next year's theme for World Maritime Day will be "2010: Year of the Seafarer", endorsing a proposal from IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos.

    The theme - to be celebrated throughout the year and also at a World Maritime Day parallel event in Argentina - was selected to give IMO and the international maritime community the opportunity to pay tribute to the world's seafarers for their unique contribution to society and in recognition of the risks they shoulder in the execution of their duties in an often hostile environment. In proposing it, Secretary-General Mitropoulos said that "the unique hazards confronting the 1.5 million seafarers of the world - including pirate attacks, unwarranted detention and abandonment - coupled with the predicted looming shortage of ships' officers, make it ever more incumbent to take immediate and effective action to forestall a situation from developing in which ships are not manned with sufficient skilled personnel".

    The theme complements IMO's ongoing "Go to Sea!" campaign to attract new entrants to the shipping industry, which was launched in November 2008 in association with the International Labour Organization, the "Round Table" of shipping industry organizations and the International Transport Workers' Federation. It is also in line with the comprehensive review, initiated in 2006, of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978 and its associated Code, updated texts of which are due to be considered by a Diplomatic Conference scheduled to be held in Manila, Philippines, in mid-2010. Once adopted, the proposed amendments to the STCW Convention and Code will provide the necessary global standards for the training and certification of seafarers to man technologically advanced ships, today and for some time to come.

    BIMCO Bites Back
    March 29th, 2010

    The growing shortage of seafarers has become an issue of global concern in light of the recent rapid growth of the maritime industry. It is broadly pointed out that the reason for this shortfall is that fewer young people are attracted to the seafaring profession and young seafarers want to move on to land-based jobs.
    If this situation continues, the smooth flow of maritime shipping, which is responsible for 90 percent of the world?s commodities transport, will face a potential crisis.
    It has become an urgent global matter to consider what governments, the shipping industry and international organisations should do to secure a sufficient number of young seafarers to meet the future needs of the shipping industry.
    In this regard, IMO has already launched the campaign, called ?Go to sea!? as introduced on its website. In particular, in order for the shipping industry standing at the centre of the problem to secure the necessary quantity of quality young people who can pursue a lifetime career in the seafaring profession, the shipping industry as an employment field must become much more attractive and competitive as compared with other employment fields in the long term prospect.
    The fundamental solution is to improve the public image and status of the shipping industry by developing a corporate social responsibility agenda that will attract potential young seafarers to the maritime profession.
    BIMCO will be holding a seminar on Tuesday May 11, 2010.
    Emeritus Admin & Founding Member