Safety and pollution setting the agenda for maritime allegiances the world over

25 September 2018

World Maritime Day will be celebrated for the first time this week by NSW boating regulators, marking a cohesive global focus on safety and pollution for the boating community.

Roads and Maritime Services Executive Director Maritime Angus Mitchell said this year’s theme of ‘better shipping for a better future’ was particularly relevant three months after the YM Efficiency shipping container incident in which 81 containers were lost into the ocean off Port Stephens, sparking the continuing clean up of NSW beaches and waterways.

“The recent container incident on the YM Efficiency is an important example how our organisations are involved in managing shipping issues at a local level,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Marking World Maritime Day with fellow maritime regulators and partners to share in recognising the part played in keeping NSW waters clean, protected and safe.

“It is also a time for port cities and maritime organisations to focus on the importance of maritime activities and celebrate the role of the sea and sea travel in the history and lives of our cities.

“World Maritime Day is celebrated in many countries throughout the world as an official United Nations day in the last week of September.

“This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of International Maritime Organisation.

“As a country that is dependent on the sea for transport and shipping, this celebration highlights our collective part part of the global effort to ensure safe and clean waterways.”

Australia is one of 167 countries that agree to safety and pollution regulations, set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London. IMO is the United Nations specialised agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of pollution by ships.

Australia was one of the original 16 founder nation members of the IMO and was one of the first countries to sign up to the United Nations Convention who established the IMO. The Convention on the IMO was adopted on 6 March 1948 at the United Nations Maritime Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mr Mitchell said NSW Maritime’s role in safety and environmental protection brings the world standards of IMO into NSW waters - standards which Roads and Maritime’s Boating Safety Officers regulate under when out on their patrols each day.

“Our partner organisations here also adhere to these international standards in their respective roles to manage the waterways in NSW or nationally,” he said.

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