Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Government Should Honour United Nations Day of the Seafarer

24th May 2017
President of the Nautical Institute Captain David 'Duke' Snider speaking at the National Maritime College President of the Nautical Institute Captain David 'Duke' Snider speaking at the National Maritime College

A ”Truism” is defined as a self-evident truth. That underlines the accuracy of the descriptive saying “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” and the application nof it to the attitude of the Irish Government towards seafarers.

Every day Ireland’s ports are depended upon by the public, all of us who live ashore. But those ports would not operate without ships and the ships would not operate without seafarers. Neither the Government, nor the great majority of the public, fully appreciate seafarers.

In an island nation, which we are, our economy would die without them. 95 per cent of our exports and imports move by sea.

So how much value is placed upon seafarers and the fishing industry by the general public?

These thoughts come to mind as the INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANISATION, which is the United Nations body dealing with marine affairs, has announced that Sunday, June 25, will be WORLD DAY OF THE SEAFARER.

The theme is to be that “SEAFARERS MATTER”.

The President of the worldwide Nautical Institute, the international representative body for maritime professionals involved in the control of sea-going ships, Capt. David ‘Duke’ Snider told me: “There is never a day when there aren’t ships moving cargo and people across the oceans, thousands of seafarers in hundreds of ships on seas all over the world, every day of every year, but they are out-of-sight, out-of-mind, to those who need them most and that’s everyone who lives on land. World trade couldn’t be carried on without them. There would be no oil to fuel transport, to power industries, to generate electricity, to heat homes. There is so much the world would not have if seafarers didn’t bring the supplies that those who live ashore need for their lives.”

The INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANISATION is encouraging Governments to recognise the “unique contribution” made by seafarers all over the word to international trade and the world economy.

The Irish Government has not recognised or celebrated World Day of the Seafarer in past years.

It would be encouraging if it did so, but on past performance I will not hold my breath that it will do so.

• Listen to the comments of the President of the Nautical Institute below:

Published in Island Nation Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button