Maritime traffic in Prince Rupert harbour on World Maritime Day, Sept. 24, 2020. The ship, Ocean Brave, arrived in P.R. Sept. 22 transporting wheat. (Photo:K-J Millar/The Northern View)

World Maritime Day – Sept. 24

Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet

World Maritime Day on Sept. 24, this year in 2020, holds the title theme of ‘Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet’.

“This year’s World Maritime Day theme reflects the current and future goals of the global maritime sector. Canada, an original member state of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), contributes to international maritime planning in an effort to achieve sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet,” Marc Garneau Minster of Transportation said, in a press release recognizing the day.

More than 80 per cent of global trade is transported through international shipping and leaves from ports such as Prince Rupert. Shipping is recognized as the most efficient and cost effective method for transporting most goods. Canada has the world’s longest coastline at more than 243,000 kms bordering three oceans and includes the Great Lakes. Canadian waters include the largest fresh water system on earth and that’s why safe guarding the waters is important, Garneau said.

“Protecting the marine environment and all users of our oceans and waterways is vital. That’s why this year’s International Maritime Organization’s World Maritime Day theme—Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet—is of utmost importance to our country.”

“We are giving coastal communities, stakeholders, researchers, and Indigenous communities a stronger role in protecting Canada’s coasts and waterways,” Garneau said.

READ MORE: Port Authority leading the way for seafarers to have a shore-break

The Government of Canada is making sure the coasts are protected in innovative ways with the help of the latest technologies Garneau said, such as research and innovation to enhance marine safety and environmental protection and enabling more proactive, rapid, and effective response to oil spills in Canada’s waters, while maintaining the polluter pays principle.

“Since the Oceans Protection Plan was launched in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been launched in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection that span coast-to-coast-to-coast. Through this plan, our marine safety system is stronger, and our coastal ecosystems more protected than ever before.”

“Our Government is committed to keeping our marine and coastal areas clean and safe for the benefit of current and future generations. These investments under the Oceans Protection Plan will ensure that Canada provides the best scientific advice and tools to protect our coasts while continuing to contribute globally towards sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet.”

“This year’s COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to the forefront, at home and abroad. We thank our marine industry for its work on sustainable ways to contribute to the Canadian economy. We thank the countless dedicated seafarers on the front lines who work relentlessly to sustain the safe movement of people and the essential goods our country depends on, especially during these challenging times,” Garneau said.

“We appreciate that their work takes them away from their families for unprecedented amounts of time. As a maritime nation reliant on trade by sea, our country depends on the marine industry and marine workers, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.”

READ MORE: Fairview Terminal expansion receives regulatory approval

K-J Millar | Journalist 
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