Day of the Seafarer celebrated

Erongo Marine Enterprises (EME) joined the international maritime community in celebrating Day of the Seafarer on 25 June by giving special recognition to the nearly 230 crew aboard the company’s two horse mackerel trawler vessels.

“Our crew is the backbone of this company. Without your hard work under very difficult circumstances at sea there would be no Erongo Marine Enterprises,” Managing Director Dr Martha Uumati said in a statement to the crew. She also paid tribute to all seafarers in the local fishing and maritime industry who through their hard work have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the economic success of Walvis Bay.
Every year on 25 June the world celebrates Day of the Seafarer. The purpose of the day is to recognise and give thanks to seafarers the world over for their unique contribution to inter-national seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society. According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), nearly 90% of the world’s food, fuel, raw material and manufactured goods are delivered by sea.
Often considered as the unsung heroes of global trade, seafarers have to endure many hardships and tough working conditions under extraordinary circumstances at sea, sometimes event risking their lives. In her tribute to the EME crew Dr Uumati said: “You work selflessly, within the deep seas for long periods to ensure the success of our company, and you do so at a great personal cost to yourself and your families. Apart from working in challenging conditions, I know from experience that one of the biggest difficulties you face – not out of choice – is staying away from your loved ones while you carry out your duties at sea to sustain livelihoods. Missing birthdays, family events or wed-dings is the price you pay to ensure the success of our company.”
The theme for this year’s Day of the Seafarer celebrations focused on gender inclusivity, with a social media campaign driven by the hashtag ‘IAmOnBoard with gender equality’ raising global awareness.
Throughout 2019 there is a strong emphasis in the maritime world on the importance and value of women within the professional ranks of this global industry. Much of this is being driven by the World Maritime Day theme, which is ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’. The theme supports the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, specifically SDG 5 with the aim to ‘ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.’
World Ocean’s Day celebrated early in June also shone the spotlight on women and their role in the blue economy.
“For the world to achieve sustainability in the ocean, we must be gender inclusive in all blue economic activities,” Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon Bernard Esau said during the official event mar-king World Oceans Day celebrations in Walvis Bay on 8 June.
He noted that women are already making huge contributions towards the health and sustainability of our ocean and the role the resource plays in the national economy.

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