Yesterday, 08 June, marked World Oceans Day 2021 and the theme this year was "The Ocean: Life and livelihoods". The Secretary-General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, released a statement that serves as a reminder to all those involved in the maritime industry the vital role we play in maintaining the marine ecosystem.
The UN Sustainable Goal 14 is to "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development" which will enable protection of livelihoods on the sea for generations to come. But to achieve this we must preserve the marine environment. Shipping has made great strides in the right direction with the development of greener fuels and tighter controls on pollution including, amongst many others, the ban on discharging of plastics into the sea.
The IMO is leading on a series of projects which aim to preserve the marine environment, protect biodiversity and limit the spread of invasive species - something that has been shown to have crippling effects on the fishing industry. One of the strategies with the biggest impact on shipping is IMO 2050, the strategy aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least 50%. This is what has led to the fantastic innovation now being seen across the industry with all avenues being explored from green hydrogen to wind power.
World Oceans Day is a day to celebrate all those who live, work or are dependent on our oceans and a reminder of how connected we all are to the ocean even if we may not realise it. It is also a day to consider how the maritime industry, as one of the largest users of the oceans, can help to protect the ocean habitat for future use to the benefit of all.