merchant navy or merchant marine is the fleet of that are registered in a specific country. On merchant vessels, Seafarers of various ranks and sometimes members of maritime trade unions are required by the STCW to carry Merchant Mariner's Documents.
King George V bestowed the title of the "Merchant Navy" on the British merchant shipping fleets following their service in the First World War; since then a number of other nations have also adopted use of that title or the similar "Merchant Marine." The following is a partial list of the merchant navies or merchant marines of various countries. In many countries the fleet's proper noun is simply the capitalized version of the common noun ("Merchant Navy").
For much of its history, the merchant navy was the largest merchant fleet in the world, but with the decline of the British Empire in the mid-20th century it slipped down the rankings. In 1939, the merchant navy was the largest in the world with 33% of total tonnage. By 2012, the merchant navy—still remaining one of the largest in the world—held only 3% of total tonnage. As of the year ending 2012, British Merchant Marine interests consists of 1,504 ships of or over. This includes ships either UK directly owned, parent owned or managed by a British company. This amounts to: or alternatively . This is according to the annual sea shipping statistics provided by the British government and the Department for Transport. British Shipping is represented nationally and globally by the UK Chamber of Shipping.
Eventually thousands of Canadians served in the merchant navy aboard hundreds of Canadian merchant ships, notably the "Park Ship", the Canadian equivalent of the American "Liberty Ship". A school at St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, trained Canadian merchant mariners. "Manning pools", merchant navy barracks, were built in Canadian ports.
Greece is a maritime nation by tradition, as shipping is arguably the oldest form of occupation of the Greeks and a key element of Greek economic activity since ancient times. In 2015, the Greek Merchant Navy controlled the world's largest merchant fleet in terms of tonnage with a total DWT of 334,649,089 tons and a fleet of 5,226 Greek owned vessels, according to Lloyd's List. Greece is also ranked highly regarding all types of ships, including first for tankers and .
In the Indo-Pak war of 1971 Pakistan suffered a great loss of its merchant vessels at the hands of Indians. On 1 January 1974, President of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto nationalized the National Shipping Corporation and Pakistan Shipping Corporation, and formed the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) with the intent of reestablishing the Pakistan Merchant Navy. Later, the company was incorporated under the provisions of the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation Ordinance of 1979 and the Companies Ordinance of 1984.
Today, the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation is the national flag carrier. The corporation's head office is located in Karachi. A regional office based in Lahore caters for upcountry shipping requirements. The corporation also has an extensive overseas network of agents looking after its worldwide shipping business. The Pakistan National Shipping Corporation also has several subsidiary companies.
After the war, the Polish Merchant Navy was controlled by the People's Republic of Poland and, after 1989, by modern Poland. , the PMH controlled 57 ships (of 1,000 GT or over) totaling / including 50 , two general cargo ships, two , one roll-on/roll-off ship and two short-sea .
The United States Merchant Marine is made up of the nation's civilian-owner merchant ships and the men and women who crew them. The merchant marine transports cargo and passengers during peacetime. In time of war, the merchant marineMost English-speaking countries call their fleet the "merchant navy". Terms similar to merchant marine are used in, for example, the French Marine Marchande and the Spanish Marina Mercante. is an auxiliary to the navy and can be called upon to deliver Troop ship and supplies for the military.
The people of the merchant marine are called "merchant mariners", and are civilians except in times of war, when, in accordance with the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, they are considered military personnel. As of 2009, the U.S. merchant fleet numbered 422 shipsShips of tons or over. Fleet statistics from the 2009 CIA World Factbook and approximately 69,000 people.
Not included in these numbers are the over 700 ships which are owned by American interests but are registered, or Maritime flag, in other countries.
Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, the IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations with 169 member states and three associate members. The IMO's primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping, and its current remit includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping. The IMO is governed by an assembly of members and is financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly. The work of the IMO is conducted through five committees and these are supported by technical subcommittees. Member organizations of the UN organizational family may observe the proceedings of the IMO. Observer status is granted to qualified non-governmental organizations.
The IMO is supported by a permanent secretariat of employees who are representative of its members. The secretariat is headed by a secretary-general.