IMO stands for International maritime organization. It is a body that helps to protect and safeguard the sailors and others who work on high seas. Ships were originally used for trading. Even today not much has changed almost ninety precept of the world’s trade is still done with the help of shipping lines.
Every year billion of cargo is shifted from one country to another. This makes it a very strong factor that supports the economy of many countries. Any loss can be huge in terms of money and human life as well. Titanic disaster initiated the requirement for laws that would save live in the sea. 1912 was the year when the first international safety of life at sea SOLAS was signed. Later, it was IMO, an international body that has made a list of rules and regulations that any country involved in shipping should follow.
It started in the year 1948. It originated in Geneva, it was proposed by the United Nations. It was initially called Inter-governmental maritime Consultative. In 1982 it got a new nomenclature IMO. Now we shall discuss about the role of IMO in sea trade and welfare of seafarers.
The first activity that we would discuss is maritime safety.
A lot of dangerous and highly inflammable substances are carried in ships. Any accident in these can cause a lot of harm to sea life and environment. Considering this in 1959, IMO came up with a list of protective measures that all vessels in sea must follow in order to ensure that any mishap can be stopped from occurring. The second very important change that IMO worked on was maritime security.
Maritime terrorism and piracy are very common especially in those areas that are near to countries like Somalia and some parts of Africa. The pirates used to attack ships, ransack and even kill. It has come up with international ship and port facility code that lays down laws for any illegal activity that is happening in the sea.
We are using sea for our own interest; however we should not forget the marine life that thrives in the sea. The next and the most important activity that IMO does are safeguarding the marine environment.
There are lists of guidelines that are given to the ships on high sea that they need to follow regarding pollutants that they are letting out into the sea. This has reduced pollution in sea to a great extent. The organization also recognizes the fact that there are a lot of human involvements in the sea that cannot be denied. There are a lot of policies that were created in 1978 under STCW also called Standards of Training Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers. These ensure that basic hygiene and living conditions are provided to the individuals on the ship. They get good work life balance and safety.
IMO has proved very useful in the safety and betterment of all those who are involved in shipping and high sea activity. I hope now you have a better understanding of role of IMO in sea trade and welfare of seafarers. IMO has an official website where you can get more information about the same and its activities.