World Maritime Day 2016

Shipping: Indispensable to the World

"The importance of shipping in supporting and sustaining today's global society makes it indispensable to the world, and to meeting the challenge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Every evening, millions of people all over the world will settle into their armchairs to watch some TV after a hard day at work. Many will have a snack or something to drink. It will occur to almost none of them that they have anything to thank shipping for. And yet every one of them undoubtedly owes a debt of gratitude to the unsung industry on which everyone in the world relies.

That TV probably arrived in a containership; the grain that made the bread in that sandwich came in a bulk carrier; the coffee probably came by sea, too. Even the electricity powering the TV set and lighting up the room was probably generated using fuel that came in a giant oil tanker.
The truth is, shipping affects us all. No matter where you may be in the world, if you look around you, you are almost certain to see something that either has been or will be transported by sea, whether in the form of raw materials, components or the finished article.

Yet few people have any idea just how much they rely on shipping. For the vast majority, shipping is out of sight and out of mind. But this does a huge disservice to the industry that, quietly and efficiently, day and night, never pausing and never stopping, keeps the world turning and keeps the people of the world fed, clothed, housed and entertained.

This is a story that needs to be told. And this is why the theme that has been chosen for World Maritime Day 2016 is "Shipping: indispensable to the world".

More information can be found at

As we celebrate World Maritime Day, we also recognize the work of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre – Caribe (RAC-REMPEITC) hosted by the Government of Curacao and supported by the International Maritime Organization and the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme.

The Centre contributes to the sustainability of the marine environment in the Wider Caribbean Reg­ion by assistin­g countries to implement international conventions created to reduce pollution from ships.

Learn more about the work of the Centre at:

Also please see our Oil Spills Factsheet which outlines various facts about tanker traffic in the Wider Caribbean Region.