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Maritime history refers to the relationship between the man and the sea and, particularly, it refers to the use of the sea by humans in order to transport freights during the evolution of the capitalistic system. More specifically, maritime history deals with the:
• sea trade,
• cargoes being transported,
• ships that carry the cargoes,
• global sea arteries and routes that the ships follow,
• import, export and transit ports,
• seamen who operate the ships,
• living conditions aboard the ships,
• shipowners,
• organization of shipping companies,
• building of international institutional frameworks for the conduct of sea transportation from states and individuals,
• and, final, maritime history deals with the impact of sea transport on land.

These are the lines along which maritime history has flourished in the past two decades. Maritime history has been organized internationally under the professional body of the International Association of Maritime Economic History (IMEHA), which was formed initially in 1986 as a ‘Maritime History Group’ and was instituted formally as the IMEHA in 1990. The IMEHA has published the International Journal of Maritime History (IJMH) since 1989 and has organized the International Congresses of Maritime History since 1992.