On September 27th the world’s leading maritime organizations will turn their attention to environmental issues as they celebrate annual World Maritime Day. This year’s theme will shed light on the role shipping can play in reducing industrial impact on the environment.

More than 90% of the world’s trade is transported by ship. Perhaps the best-known cargo is fuel. Despite notorious accidents like the Exxon Valdez in 1989, the shipping industry is responsible for very little pollution. According to the International Maritime Organization, 99.999% of oil transported by ship arrives at its destination safely. The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, created in 1973, carefully polices the environmental impact of shipping, and is updated to meet the growing environmental and industrial challenges maritime organizations and businesses face.

International maritime organizations also assert that by placing greater emphasis on shipping, carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced and hydrocarbons will be conserved.

Also in the spotlight for World Maritime Day is the topic of marine renewable energy. Using coastal wind and waves, companies around the world have been able to produce sustainable and steady electricity. Marine renewable energy is emerging as an efficient and clean method of producing power and reducing reliance on oil, but its development lacks the momentum greater governmental, industrial, and public attention will provide.

World Maritime Day is a joint project of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, the International Maritime Pilots Association, and the International Maritime Organization. The primary celebration will be held in London, with satellite functions occurring in locations around the world. 100 free tickets for the London event are available to the general public; for more information about the day’s activities or to apply, see the World Maritime Day web site.

International Maritime Organization
The Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition
World Maritime Day

Dina Ely is a journalist, poet, and author of short fiction. Readers can contact her at dely723@yahoo.com

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