Maritime Security, a Basic Introduction


Maritime safety, what is it?

Many people understand that maritime safety is the role of the military in protecting our seas and oceans, but that is not always the case. We all depend on the seas and oceans, not only as an abundant food source, but also in safe, secure and clean seas and oceans, which ensure our prosperity and peace. Air transport can be excessively expensive or logistically impossible to transport certain items. We rely on ships to transport these goods and food products. As in other modes of transportation, criminal organizations search for security vulnerabilities in the supply chain and seek to exploit them to their advantage. This results in acts of piracy, armed robbery, hostages and other criminal activities. It is through adequate security that we can maintain the rule of law in areas beyond national jurisdiction and protect strategic maritime interests.

Who provides maritime safety?

The seas and oceans are so vast (the seas and oceans account for 70% of the earth's surface), so it's literally impossible for governments to ensure the safety of the whole of the region. To literally patrol, millions of square kilometers of ocean would need legions of aircraft and warships to protect it. This is clearly impossible to achieve.

The most effective option is to use the services of privately contracted maritime security companies (PMSCs) who, for a commercial fee, will provide a team of armed guards, usually three, to stay aboard the transit ship. . although high risk areas.

Maritime safety over the last decade

Maritime terrorism, piracy, armed robbery and kidnapping have for centuries been limited to isolated criminal incidents around the world. The big change in maritime security came with the rise of piracy off the coast of Somalia between 2008 and 2011. What began as an attempt by local fishermen to protect their local fishing rights against foreign commercial fishing operations It's developed over the years into well organized activities. and well-organized criminal gang activities, funded by influential and powerful organizations.

The piracy emerging from Somalia has been severely degraded. In 2012, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) (which is part of the International Chamber of Commerce) reported that there had been seventy-five actual and actual piracy attempts that year by Somali pirates, but only fifteen in 2013.

Over the past five years, the focus of maritime criminal activity has shifted from East Africa to West Africa, particularly in the West. the Gulf of Guinea. There have been many criminal activities in this area, but the focus has been on the theft of property rather than the long – term hostage – taking strategy that prevailed in the area. East Africa.

In the South China Sea, criminal activity has intensified over the last decade, with politically motivated groups seeking hostage takings for both financial and political gain.

Maritime Safety and IMO

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the organization charged with trying to make trade and sea travel as safe as possible. To address security-related security threats, the Organization develops appropriate guidelines and regulations to mitigate and manage risks through the Maritime Safety Committee and with the contributions of the Legal and Compliance Committees. facilitation.

IMO has developed provisions to address maritime safety issues under the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), which includes many instructions and various types of guidance for all countries party to the Convention. The aim of the ISPS Code is to ensure that the applicable port facilities and ocean-going vessels of IMO Member States apply the highest possible safety standards.

The ISPS code is divided into 2 sections, a series of guidelines on how to meet these requirements in a non-mandatory part, and detailed safety requirements for shipping companies, port authorities and governments, in the Part A, which is mandatory.


To counter the tactics employed by Somali pirates, a booklet was published collectively by the shipping industry. Called "BMP4", which stands for "best management practices", it suggests three basic principles; 1. Sign up with the MSCHOA (Maritime Safety Center – Horn of Africa), 2. Report to UKMTO (UK Maritime Trade Operations), 3. Implement protective measures for ships (MPS).

These BMP tactics appear to have been extremely effective in deterring and preventing hacker attacks, and target ships that used at least three escape measures were able to safely escape hackers. However, many merchant ships have not resorted to sufficient escape measures. In fact, in almost half of the cases attributed to pirates in East Africa, the ships reported no escape tactics.

Maritime safety will continue to evolve alongside the threat, and this threat will be determined by regional, political and economic factors.

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