The Day of the Seafarers is celebrated 25 June, paying tribute to the more than 1.2 million seafarers worldwide who operate ships and make an invaluable contribution to international trade and the world economy. Today, more than 80% of the volume of global trade is seaborne, representing 70% of the value of global trade, a value which is expected to increase by over one-third by 2020. Often such effort is made by seafarers under conditions of risk brought by severe weather and rough seas.
Adequate marine meteorological data coverage from ocean areas, in particular from those areas in the so-called exclusive economic zone, is indispensable for the issue of timely and accurate storm warnings for the safety of life at sea and the protection of life and property in coastal and off-shore areas. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, adopted in 1960, specifies that the contracting Parties undertake to issue warnings of gales, storms and tropical storms and to arrange for selected ships to take meteorological observations.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) cooperates with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) to provide marine safety services, in particular the World-Wide Metocean Information and Warnings Service, through its Members, which have undertaken the responsibility of issuing warnings for the high seas and coastal waters according to internationally agreed procedures.
WMO wishes to acknowledge the essential role played by the seafarers of the world and reaffirms its commitment to contribute to ensure safety at sea through the timely and quality provision of marine meteorological information.