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Shipping and World Trade: World Seaborne Trade

It is difficult to quantify the value of volume of world seaborne trade in monetary terms, as figures for trade estimates are traditionally in terms of tonnes or tonne-miles, and are therefore not comparable with monetary-based statistics for the value of the world economy.

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The Principal Regulations Governing Maritime Safety

The following are the major international shipping conventions, adopted by the International Maritime Organization (and the International Labour Organization) concerning safety and pollution prevention.

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Safety and Regulation: Reduction in the Number of Ship Losses

Relatively few ships actually sink at sea. The vast majority of the following "losses" simply refer to ships which are damaged and "written off" by the hull insurers as being beyond economical repair - described by underwriters as "total constructive losses".

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Safety and Regulation: Lives Lost at Sea

As in all transport sectors, lives are sadly lost as a result of accidents at sea. Disappointingly, there has been a rise in fatal accidents in the last two years, although the loss of life in shipping is in fact relatively modest, and the overall trend is one of reduction in the number of fatalities, which is all the more impressive in view of the growth in the number of ships in the world fleet.

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