Maritime security is a major buzzword in international relations. It’s also a critical factor in occupational safety for the maritime industry.
After all, when you’re on the open water, you may not just be dealing with ships from the same country, or sailing in home waters. That’s why maritime is unique – keeping workers safe applies to far more than just personal protective equipment and safe work practice onboard the ship.
Let’s take a closer look at maritime security and why it’s such a big deal for your safety team.
What Is Maritime Security?
Maritime security is a somewhat nebulous concept. There is no international consensus on what maritime security entails, despite the fact that every country has a vested interest in maritime security.
Maritime security is not a single entity or action. Instead, it’s a nexus of several different maritime concerns ranging from port security to the safety of sailors. On one hand, maritime security can refer to the prevention of weapons smuggling. On the other hand, it can also refer to protection against piracy at sea.
It can even refer to cybersecurity onboard ships, as operational technology on ships can be hacked just as readily as any other computer.
Generally, maritime security is the nexus of four concerns:
- National security
- Human security
- Marine environment
- Economic environment
Within these four concerns are concerns about seapower, resilience, marine safety, and blue economy respectively. Marine safety, for example, can encompass accidents and climate change, while seapower can include inter-state disputes and arms proliferation.
Maritime Security Threats
Because maritime security is such a diverse concept, maritime security threats are broad. In relation to port security, for example, maritime security threats include:
- Stowage and illegal immigration
- Safeguarding ships in conflicted waters
- Terrorist attacks
- Environmental disasters
However, maritime security also refers to security of U.S. waterways, what is known as maritime domain awareness (MDA), or the effective understanding of anything related to the maritime domain that could affect the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States.
Essentials of Maritime Security
Maritime security is essential because it protects an essential element of the U.S. economy.
The shipping industry is the engine of the global economy. Annually, it contributes $183.3 billion USD in gross direct output and 4.2 million jobs. Cargo transported on ships represents two-thirds the value of total global trade.
Without maritime security, the open seas would look more like the Wild West. Global economies would be handicapped, workers would be unable to do their jobs, and the shipping industry would be chronically unable to operate at full capacity.
Aiding Your Maritime Safety and Security
Improving safety at sea begins with maritime security. And that means for maritime safety teams, security is part and parcel of your safety responsibilities.
We’re here to help you stay on top of those responsibilities, no matter where your ship sails or how busy your shipyard becomes. Our maritime safety software is tailored for the unique needs of the industry so that you can always adapt to your biggest challenges.
Want to see our software in action? Get in touch today to learn more.