Merchant navy

A United States World War II recruiting poster for the merchant marine

A merchant navy or merchant marine is the fleet of merchant vessels 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 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)[1] 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 name is simply the capitalized version of the common noun ("Merchant Navy").

British Merchant Navy

A recent example of British Merchant Navy officers, graduating at their 'passing out' ceremony from Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton, with former First Sea Lord Alan West, Baron West of Spithead, in 2011.

The British Merchant Navy comprises the British merchant ships that transport cargo and people during time of peace and war.

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.[2] By 2012, the merchant navy—still remaining one of the largest in the world—held only 3% of total tonnage.[3] As of the year ending 2012, British Merchant Marine interests consists of 1,504 ships of 100 GRT or over. This includes ships either UK directly owned, parent owned or managed by a British company. This amounts to: 59,413,000 GRT or alternatively 75,265,000 DWT.[3] This is according to the annual maritime 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.[4]

Other Languages
Deutsch: Handelsmarine
español: Marina mercante
français: Marine marchande
Frysk: Keapfardij
한국어: 상선 해병
עברית: צי סוחר
Nederlands: Koopvaardij
norsk nynorsk: Koffardi
português: Marinha mercante
Simple English: Merchant marine
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Trgovačka mornarica
svenska: Kofferdi