Maritime charity Seafarers UK have teamed up with former fisherman and diver and TV presenter, Monty Halls for this year’s Seafarers Awareness Week.
Entitled ‘All at Sea’, this year’s campaign runs from 21 – 29 June 2014.
They are hoping to shine a light on the scale of our reliance on this ‘unseen’ industry to bring in the supplies we rely on everyday – often in the face of tough and hazardous conditions.
The UK relies on merchant shipping for 95 per cent of its imports and 75 per cent of exports, and our sea ports handle over half a billion tonnes of goods a year.
This year’s campaign will see emphasis placed on the import and export of food. More than half the food eaten in the UK is imported and of this, a staggering 95 per cent arrives by ship.
A survey by the charity revealed major misconceptions about the scale and importance of the UK maritime industry, with less than half of people (43 per cent of those asked) knowing that the vast majority of food we import comes to us by sea.
The top item we can’t live without is the potato. A staggering 465,000 tonnes of spuds are imported every year to support our passion for the potato – the equivalent weight of 38,750 London buses.
Other popular items of the maritime menu include cheese, sugar, rice, chocolate and, of course, bananas.
Click on the below infographic to find out more about our import and export food habits.
Monty Halls said: “Shipping is one of the oldest industries in the world and today it arguably plays a more important role than ever. As an island nation we rely heavily on seafarers to bring vital food, fuel and other goods into the UK. “
Seafarers UK is a grant-making charity which helps people in the maritime community by providing vital funding to support seafarers in need and their families.