Maritime Security: Evolving Roles, Models, Missions and Capabilities

“Whilst these initiatives have successfully helped to diminish incidents of maritime insecurity in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, they have also raised great concerns”

Aside from technology (digitalisation), one issue that has greatly altered the landscape of maritime industry is maritime security. In the wake of increasing incidents of insecurity in some maritime regions: Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, industry operators with tacit government support sought for various means to combat the crimes.

This sparked some novel ideas and a number of key intersecting developments. Some of the new developments seen are the use of different contracted security models namely, Private Armed Guards (PAGs), Vessels Protection Detachments (VPD), State Affiliated Escort (SAE), Coastal State Embarked Personnel (CSEP) to combat maritime crimes. It brought about embarked private armed security personnel on board commercial vessels transiting high risks areas.

Another development is the engagement of the military, especially the navy of different countries in security operations beyond the territorial waters of their respective countries.

Next is the increase in cross government and interagency approach to maritime surveillance, information gathering and decision making. Whilst these initiatives have successfully helped to diminish incidents of maritime insecurity in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, they have also raised great concerns. As a case in point, the use of contracted private security on board commercial vessels, has raised crucial questions regarding the quality, professional training and integrity of the guards, the capability of the companies offering the services, standardization of operations, accountability and control, jurisdiction of operations, nature of operations (preventive or defensive) and range of services, proliferation of weapons at sea, enforcement process and procedures, and compromise of sovereignty. Given the complexities of the noted concerns, would contracted private security be an option that should be considered among the mechanisms to combat maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea as being pushed by international and local shipping companies and some stakeholders? Some other questions the roundtable will try to answer are: to what extent could the existing regulatory framework in the region on contracted private security affect maritime security in social, policy and commercial terms? In finally extinguishing maritime crime in the region, what will be the beneficial value of the scheme? To what extent does it impact on the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code?

Rear Admiral Tariworio Dick

Will be leading the discussion on this theme at the conference