Maritime Security Definition

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There is a significant distinction to make between the definitions provided by the UN and the IMB. Per the UNCLOS treaty, piracy can technically only occur on the high seas, i.e. outside of states’ territorial waters. Although the IMB recognizes what the provisions in the UNCLOS treaty prescribe, it maintains an addendum pertaining to armed robbery: “Armed robbery against ships means any unlawful act of violence or detention or any act of depredation, or threats thereof, other than act of “piracy”, directed against a ship or against persons or property on board such ship, within a state’s jurisdiction over such offences” Hassan and Hasan maintain that because of this more inclusive approach, this definition “is widely recognized by the shipping…show more content…
The UN denotes that there is no universally accepted definition of maritime security, and that “much like the concept of “national security”, it may differ in meaning, depending on the context and the users.” However, in the narrowest sense, maritime security involves amongst others “protection from direct threats to the territorial integrity of a State” and “security from crimes at sea, such as piracy, armed robbery against ships, and terrorist acts.” It may also include threats emerging from “intentional and unlawful damage to the marine environment . . . and depletion of natural resources” On a similar note, Rahman poses that based on organizational interest and political or ideological bias, maritime security means something different for any individual or organization. Furthermore, he argues that while maritime security might reflect the wider debate on security, it was until recently not an “independent issue sector” . This likely finds cause in the prevailing idea that “dimensions of security already discussed may also be applied to the maritime environment, with each arguably possessing maritime elements.” Indeed, issues such as inter-state disputes, terrorism, trafficking of narcotics, people and illicit goods, arms proliferation and environmental challenges prevail as much in the regular security domain as they do in the maritime security…show more content…
Often, Somali pirates do not consider themselves pirates, but rather as “a coast guard” protecting their waters from those who, according to one pirate’s narrative, illegally fish, dump waste and carry arms into their seas. Although illegal fishing has and indeed still takes place , there has been no illegal dumping of waste in Somali waters. This ‘coast guard’ narrative or a narrative of ‘disgruntled fishermen’ taking up arms against invasive maritime vessels may have been plausible in the 1990s, but no longer holds true today as opportunistic individuals and criminal organizations rather utilize what is arguably an efficient business model. This elaboration on the root causes of Somali piracy has shown that the issue is complex and multidimensional, and not easily mitigated against. Somali piracy comes at a significant price, affects numerous actors and states and therefore calls for a unified response. Particular international maritime efforts such as the aforementioned EU NAFVOR, but also NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield and the multinational Combined Task Force 151 have managed to effectively diminish the number of piracy-related incidents in the waters surrounding Somalia. Despite such efforts, 2017 saw a minor return of Somali pirate attacks, which may serve as proof that the issue of piracy is not easily quelled despite

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