International maritime health has largely developed within the sphere of occupational health services and international health problems. We reviewed publications in the journal International Maritime Health from 2000 to 2010 to establish the coverage of the journal and the scope of research in maritime health. We identified six thematic categories: healthcare access, delivery and integration; telehealth; non-communicable diseases and physical health problems; communicable diseases; psychological functioning and health; and safety-related issues. We describe the research within these themes and report on their publication prominence. We also analyse the research in terms of its geographical focus, the population groups addressed and the research methodologies used. We suggest a broadening of maritime research to include randomised controlled trials, longitudinal studies and more qualitative research; more research addressing the context for non-European seafarers; and research on seafarers spouses and family supports and obligations. We also recommend more research on psychosocial and cultural issues and on telehealth, as well as the development of a stronger systems perspective for promoting maritime health.