The International Maritime Organization (IMO) observes World Maritime Day every year usually on the last Thursday of the month of September. In year 2021, it is observed on September 30. During World Maritime Day, public attention is drawn to maritime safety and the marine environment, as well as IMO initiatives in a particular area. Without the international shipping of products that is expedited by those within the maritime industry, the world's economy would not be able to function. The main objective of the IMO is to focus on areas such as safety, environmental issues, legal issues, technical cooperation and maritime efficiency. World Maritime Day was celebrated for the first time on March 17, 1978.

The year 2021 has been chosen by the IMO to be marked as an year of action for seafarers, who faced unexampled hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite their vital role as key contributors of international offer chains.

With the theme "Seafarers: at the core of shipping's future", the World Maritime Theme for 2021 aims to extend the visibility of seafarers by highlighting the important roles they play now and will continue to play in the near future.

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