It is the day for seafarers of all stripes, from Coast Guards, to Navies, to every fisherman and marine biologist and cruise ship captain. If your job involves a large quantity of salt water, then this day is dedicated to you. The first documented sea voyage was made around 3200 BCE, and was bankrolled by the Egyptian Pharaoh Snefru (he also built at least three pyramids during his reign). Today, over 90% of global trade is done by sea, since it is still the most cost-effective way to transport goods. Marine biologists and oceanographers from every country have dedicated their lives to learning more about the ocean depths, and humans from every walk of life keep going to the sea to explore the planet.
2020 campaign – Seafarers are Key Workers
Seafarers are on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, playing an essential role in maintaining the flow of vital goods, such as food, medicines and medical supplies. However, the crisis has led to difficult working conditions for seafarers, including uncertainties and difficulties about port access, re-supply, crew changeovers and repatriation.
This year, the Day of the Seafarer campaign calls on Member States to recognize seafarers as key workers – and to provide them with the support, assistance and travel options open to all key workers during the pandemic.
The 2020 Day of the Seafarer campaign pays tribute to seafarers, acknowledging their sacrifice and the issues they face. Many seafarers have been away from home for months and are unsure when they will be able to return home due to travel restrictions.
The campaign also seeks to raise awareness of the work achieved by seafarers in response to the pandemic and to thank them for their contribution. Everyone is invited to recognize that the ability of seafarers to deliver vital goods is central to responding to, and eventually overcoming, this pandemic.
The campaign encourages everyone to treat seafarers with the respect and dignity they deserve so that they can continue to provide their vital services to keep world trade moving.