Maritime sector involves all the activities that are related to the shipping industry. It is composed of organizations and activities such as marine transportation, commercial fishing in oceans and seas, cruise and recreational facilities that mainly compose luxurious ships, naval industry, and ship building, commercial ports and maritime training. Other components that contribute to the maritime sector include professional organizations and trade unions that fight for the rights of workers that conduct their activities in the maritime sectors.
The maritime sector has massive contributions to the global economy. It provides a vehicle for the transportation of oil and gases throughout the world. It is cheaper to transport crude oil through this sector. This is because crude oil is bulky, and it would have cost countries many funds to transport it through road network. It has also facilitated transportation of oil from landlocked countries. Countries, such as Nigeria, use the Nigerian maritime to transport their oil exports. This has enabled these countries to earn increased revenues through the sea transport despite the fact that these countries are landlocked. Furthermore, the maritime sector has provided huge employment opportunities to citizens of different countries. It has provided the employment to fishermen who carry activities in this sector, shipbuilders, staff who maintain ships, officers who carry out rescue operations to the people trapped in the sea and trade unionists who represent the rights of workers who carry their operations in the sea.
The maritime sector also plays an important role in controlling the traffic in major seas and oceans. The Turkish Straits, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, are narrow, contain sharp bends and are affected by extreme weather conditions. The traffic density in these straits is very high since many people use them and they sometimes cross with vessels carrying toxic and hazardous materials. It is the responsibility of the maritime sector to regulate this traffic in order to prevent innocent civilians from being affected by the hazardous chemicals that are carried by ships moving in these straits. This country established the System of Turkish Strait Vessel Traffic Services (TSVTS) that was assigned the role of monitoring the marine traffic in all kinds of the environmental conditions. It also records all voice, images, and data that are related to the maritime traffic and displays them whenever any authority requires them. Most countries in the maritime sector are members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This organization offers treaties among its members that aim at ensuring that all marine activities are safe from piracy or accidents, and that the maritime activities minimize water pollution. The main reason that countries in the maritime sector joined the IMO is to prevent conflicting laws if each country operated under its own laws and codes. The major conventions of this treaty include the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of the Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and the International Convention of Load Lines (LL). Other conventions include the International Convention on Standards of Training (ICST), the Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers (STCW), and the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships.
The IMO plays a significant role in preventing water pollution in the maritime sector. It helps in the prevention of oil pollution that may be caused by tankers transporting oil. These tankers transport about 2400 million tonnes of crude oil around the world. The IMO ensures that all the tankers are built and operated safely in an attempt of reducing oil spillage in case a tanker faced any accident in the sea. Oil spillage causes death in the marine life since it blocks the amount of oxygen that is available to the fish and other animals for respiration. The IMO also reduces pollution due to air emissions by regulating the amount of smoke emitted by ships. It achieves this by inspecting all ships to ascertain that their engines run well and that they do not emit too much smoke or toxic fumes.
Furthermore, IMO investigates the designs of all the ships that transport people in this sector to ascertain that they are built properly and that they maintain stability while navigating through waters. It also maintains the security of this sector by preventing piracy activities. In case pirates capture a ship, it sends patrols who are assigned the mission of rescuing the hostages in these ships. Furthermore, it tries to negotiate with these terrorists in an attempt of ensuring that all the hostages are unharmed after a pirate attack.
Marine transport involves the transportation of goods and services through the sea. Most countries conduct the international trade using marine transport. This is because this form of transport is cheaper than road or air transport, especially if the distance involved during the trade is large. In addition to this, the marine transport is the most environmentally friendly form of transport. Emissions released by ships and yachts are fewer compared to emissions released by tracks transporting containers through road networks. Ships such as roll-on ships, tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, cruise ships, coastal trading vessels, dredger, and ocean liners are involved in the maritime transport. Tanker ships mainly transport petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and chemicals. It is common in the Indian Ocean where they transport oil products from the Middle East.
Container ships transport goods that are packed in containers through the process of containerization. Shiploads packed in containers are safe since these containers are designed to withstand extreme shocks. Due to this, goods in transit by using these ships are protected from the extreme weather conditions and natural calamities. Ship builders design bulk carriers to transport huge cargos, such as iron ore, steel, food, and other products. Countries engaged in the marine transportation use several routes to transport their goods. The Northern Sea Route is used by the United States to transport most of its exports. This route transports about 1.5 million tons of goods in a year. It stretches from Novaya Zemlya in Russia to the Bering Strait.
Merchant marine refers to all the ships of a particular country that are used for commercial activities. Merchant marine excludes all ships engaged in fishing, offshore oil rigs and tugs. In the United States, this fleet of ships carries imports and exports when this country experiences peace and they are transformed into naval auxiliary during times of war. During war, these ships are used to transport the United States troops and deliver war equipment to the fighting soldiers.
Turkey has a total of 629 merchant marines. There are about 102 bulk carriers, 281 cargo ships, 6 liquefied gas ships, 29 roll on/roll off, refrigerated cargo, 46 chemical tankers, 60 passengers/cargo ships, and 25 petroleum tankers.
Japan has a total of about 3757 merchant marine. 683 of these ships are registered in in Japan; while 3074 are registered abroad in countries such as Italy, South Korea, the Phillipines, England, and the United States. 136 ships in this country are bulk carriers, 30 of them are cargo ships, 135 of these ships are passenger/cargo ships and 51 of them are roll on/roll off.
Different countries have different types of merchant marine. Examples of these ships include bulk carriers, roll on/roll off, liquefied gas ships, and refrigerated cargo. Ship building companies design roll on/roll off to carry mainly wheeled cargo such as railway carriages, trailers, and automobiles. These ships have installed ramps that help in ensuring that the cargo rolls on the ship or rolls off the ship after the ship reaches its desired destination. Liquefied gas ships are designed to carry natural gas (Song & Panayides, 2012). They have many installed measures to prevent them from exploding since natural gas is extremely flammable. The staffs who work in merchant marine are known as sailors, seafarers, seamen, or marines. The governments of most countries provide extensive training programs for these staffs in an attempt of improving their navigation skills. In the United States, marines are trained in the United States Merchant Marine Academy. This institution helps in training young marines to be professional seafarers so that they help in facilitating export trade through the sea.
A port authority is a governmental commission given the task of managing and constructing port facilities. Port authorities of most countries are given the task of developing projects such as building docks, boat facilities, piers, fisheries, and warehouses for storing goods in transit while in the sea.
Turkey has several port authorities assigned the task of managing its ports. The Port Authority of Bodrum manages Bodrum port. Canakkale Port is managed by the Canakkale Port Authority; while Alanya Port is managed by the Alanya Port Authority. These ports obtain funds for managing port facilities from taxes imposed to ships under their management, boat slip fees, fundraising activities, such as festivals and fairs and from government funding (Stopford, 2009). Port authorities also have the responsibility of developing waterfront areas for commercial, recreational and industrial uses.
The Port of Rotterdam is one of the biggest ports in Europe. The Port Authority of Rotterdam manages it. This authority has the responsibility of developing, managing and operating Rotterdam Port and its industrial area. Recently, it has invested in new port sites such as Maasvlakte 2. Furthermore, this port plays the role of developing the infrastructure around the port in an attempt of improving how its handles goods from other countries. The Port Authority of London manages the Port of London. It has the responsibility of managing all the terminals located in this port as well as dredging and diving services.
The Port Authority of New York has the responsibility of managing the Port of New York, which is considered to be the most active port in the United States. This port has engaged in export activities for the United States since the1950s. The Port Authority of New York was responsible for the construction of Newark airport, La Guardia and John F. Kennedy airports. Moreover, it was responsible for constructing the Goethals Bridge and the Outerbridge Crossing that linked New York to New Jersey, thus promoting trade activities between these two cities.
Shipbuilding involves construction of ships and other floating vessels. Shipwrights construct these vessels in facilities known as shipyards. The shipbuilding industry is strong in Japan, South Korea, and China. The strongest shipbuilding companies in Japan and South Korea include: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries. Most countries prefer procuring ships from these countries since they have big companies that have invested heavily in the research and development in order to help in ensuring marine security.
The European shipbuilding industry is the global leader in the construction of vessels such as mega-yachts, dredgers, ferries, and cruise ships. The biggest shipyards in Europe are located in Stettin and Gdynia in Poland and Chantiers de L’Atlantique in France. Other shipyards include: Lisnave, Kvaerner Masa Turku, and Hellenic Shipyards. Big shipbuilding companies in Europe include: Naval Shipbuilding North West, Croatian Shipbuilding Corporation, and Wartsila Corporation.
According to the statistics released by the European Union, the shipbuilding industry has employed about 120,000 local and foreign citizens. These employees mainly concentrate in manufacturing large diesel systems, propulsion and safety systems for the handling of cargo. Shipbuilding companies are adopting the trend of using environmental friendly means while designing their ships. Most companies are designing the engine systems of their ships so that they further reduce their emissions in order to reduce environmental pollution and comply with environment protection requirements. Furthermore, they are designing their ships by using cost efficient materials in an attempt of reducing their ship building costs.
Marine tourism is defined as tourism oriented activities performed at the sea with the use of marine vessels and occupational activities that support this form of tourism. Occupational activities that support marine tourism include cruiser and ferry boat operations, daily leisure boat operations, bareboat operations, diving tourism, water sport and slipway operations.
Marine tourism in Turkey is mainly strong in yacht tourism and coast tourism. Yacht tourism takes place in Karatas, which is a major fishing port. The yacht berth and slipway in Karatas is attractive to tourists since it has good dining facilities, good shopping malls, and quality provision of water and electricity of all the hotels in this region.
In England, marine tourism has been strong in the recent years. Scarborough Sea Life & Marine Sanctuary in North Yorkshire experiences a large number of visits of tourists from all over the world. In this sanctuary, seal pups are rescued and released to the sea. Furthermore, tourists walk through underwater tunnel where they are able to see seals, penguins and sharks swimming.
The governments of countries engaged in marine tourism earn foreign exchange and revenues, thus contributing to their overall economic growth. Moreover, this form of tourism helps in protecting extinct marine life, thus contributing to a balance in the ecosystem. If marine tourism is not managed well, it may increase pollution in the sea, hence causing loss of biodiversity.
Natural resources in the marine sector include physical sources. Biological resources include marine life and all the products they secret. Examples of natural resources include the fishing industry, the sand industry, and the oil industry.
The fishing industry is concerned with culturing, processing, taking, storing, and selling fish or fish products. This industry is divided into three sectors that include the commercial sector, recreation and traditional sectors. Industries dealing in the commercial sector catch fish in large quantities with an aim of selling. Industries dealing in the recreational sector only catch fish for sport activities or recreation. China is the largest commercial fish producer in the whole world. Fishing is mainly carried out in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Bohai Sea. The main species of fish caught in these areas include club mackerel, black scraper, hairtail, and shrimps. China is also involved in aquaculture. In 2005, its aquaculture production was about $39.8 billion. The main species of fish produced by China’s aquaculture are cyprinus carpio, Japanese kelp, pacific cupped oyster, and wakame. Pescanova is the world’s largest fishing company. It has a wide logistics platform, and this has enabled it to distribute fish throughout the globe. Sajo Industries Company Limited is another big fishing company located in South Korea. It is mainly involved in deep sea fishery. It operates Tuna long liner, Allaska Pollack traw,l and squid nettings.