The Foundation’s purpose and origin

The purpose of the Maritime Foundation is to promote awareness of Britain’s dependence on the sea

Once almost every British household had some link with the sea. By the 1980s that was already becoming a distant memory, and today only about five per cent of the population is directly involved with maritime activities. Yet we depend on the sea more than ever.

We obtain our energy and food supplies and conduct most of our international trade by sea, and depend in other ways on our global marine environment, offshore energy, naval defence, and the great range of sea-related business in which Britain still excels.

We depend on the sea more than ever

The British Maritime League was set up in 1981 to lobby parliament for a coherent maritime policy, while a separate charity, The British Maritime Charitable Foundation (now known simply as The Maritime Foundation), was created to undertake research, initiate educational projects, and improve understanding of Britain’s dependence, as an island nation, on the sea and maritime skills.

From the start, the Foundation focused on creating media interest in the sea, on highlighting the economic value of Britain’s maritime sector, and on the importance of maritime education and training. The Foundation also took initiatives to seafarers and others lost at sea, and to co-operate with like-minded organisations, at home and abroad.