Our ancestors migrated out of Africa 60,000 to 70,0000 by boats. One of the main reasons that our ancestors ventured out of the land may be due to the lack of food or to search for raw materials.
The Phoenician civilization was the first to create the first maritime trading culture. They formed a network of colonies and trade centers across the ancient Mediterranean between the period of 1200 BC t0 900Bc. They act as middlemen traders to transport goods such as papyrus, textiles, metals, and spices between the many civilizations with whom they had contact.
Maritime Law was first documented at the time of Ancient Egypt. For trade to flourish, ships needed to be able to travel from port to port with a reasonable expectation of safety and fair trade. Ancient Egyptian maritime forces were commanded by trained and experienced marine professionals.
The European Laws of Oleron is created around 1150, which is the oldest regulating medieval shipping in north-western Europe. It is known to has one of the best-known sea laws. One of the laws stated that shipowners are responsible for the living expenses and medical care of seamen.
Due to the nature of the working environment, seamen will be prone to fall ill or be injured in the course of their duties. This law of “maintenance and cure” is still included in current U.S. maritime law.
Seafarers have been the anonymous heroes in our current pandemic. The world relies on them to transport more than 80% of traded goods by volume. Goods such as vital food, medical goods, energy, raw materials, and manufactured goods are moved across the globe with their help.
At the same time, seafarers have also been collateral victims of the crisis. Due to travel restrictions, it has left tens of thousands of them stranded on ships, or unable to join ships. This has prone IMO to establishing a Seafarer Crisis Action Team. The team is set up to check developments, coordinate efforts, and communicate with all relevant stakeholders. They provide targeted support in individual cases and particularly urgent situations as well.