Australia celebrates MARPOL at 50 — our commitment goes on

IMO World Maritime Day 2023 logo

Australia is delighted to join the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to mark World Maritime Day 2023.  

The theme of World Maritime Day this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships’ (MARPOL) and its importance in the global fight against marine pollution and climate change.  

As Australia's lead at the IMO, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) CEO Mick Kinley said that Australia is dedicated to cultivating sustained global collaboration to develop and implement the highest practical safety and environmental standards for international shipping.

“We have one of the largest shipping tasks in the world, with 99 percent of Australia’s international trade carried by sea and around 6,000 individual vessels making 30,616 port visits last year,” he said.   

“Australia’s coastline and diverse marine environments are at the heart of our environmental and cultural heritage, not to mention our economy, therefore sustainability is vital.”

Mr Kinley said Australia’s efforts to protect Australia’s marine environment from ship-sourced pollution include negotiating and implementing international conventions and standards; inspecting ships; and responding to marine pollution incidents.

“The Australian Government is working closely with industry to chart a practical transition to net zero emissions for our domestic maritime sector through the development of a Maritime Emissions Reduction National Action Plan,” he said.

Australia is also a strong supporter of the IMO’s work to address ship-sourced pollution globally. 

“Australia is actively involved in driving the IMO’s Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships and is supporting the IMO to develop measures for international shipping to reach net zero emissions by, or close to, 2050.

Australia is also committed to establishing a green and digital shipping corridor by 2025 under the Singapore-Australia Green Economy Agreement, and working with the United States, Japan and India to establish green shipping corridors in the Indo-Pacific by 2030.”

Mr Kinley acknowledged that achieving these targets and our broader vision of a sustainable maritime sector requires action and support from all aspects of the maritime industry.

“World Maritime Day is an important opportunity for countries, organisations and individuals around the world to discuss this shared goal. 

“We look forward to continuing international collaboration to support our international obligations, including worker entitlements, seafarer welfare, ship safety and the environmental performance of ships.”  

The IMO has invited nations to illuminate prominent landmarks in blue in recognition of World Maritime Day 2023. This evening, Australia will be lighting up Australia House in London, and lighthouses along our coastline.  

The Hon. Catherine King, Minister for Infrastructure, Regional Development and Local Government has recorded a video message in recognition of World Maritime Day. View Minister King’s message. 



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