On Monday, the 27th of May, 2019 SafeSeas is organising a public roundtable titled “Uncovering Hidden Maritime Crimes – Consequences for the Shipping Industry”. The event is jointly organised by Danish Shipping, the University of Copenhagen and SafeSeas.
While it is maritime piracy that catches most of the attention, there is less awareness of the detrimental impact of other crimes in the maritime domain. The roundtable focuses on these hidden maritime crimes and what kind of consequences and costs they imply for the shipping industry. Focusing on stowaways, human trafficking and the smuggling of illicit goods and narcotics, the goal of the event is to situate these crimes in a broader context and discuss how they can be tackled and addressed.
Panelists include Mr. Alan Cole, Head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Global Maritime Crime Programme, discussing smuggling, Dr. Eugenio Cusumano, Assistant Professor, Leiden University, discussing illegal migration in the Mediterranean, Dr. Amaha Senu, Research Associate, Seafarers International Research Centre, discussing stowaways and Dr. Ursula Daxecker, Associate Professor, University of Amsterdam, discussing the nexus between different forms of maritime crime and their root causes.
To strengthen maritime security it is crucial that researchers work closely together. The Maritime Security mailing list was launched in 2014 by piracy-studies.org to facilitate cooperation between maritime security researchers and other interested actors. To subscribe to the mailing list please follow the link here.
To facilitate collaboration and dialogue across the different sectors and domains of maritime security in different regional waters and the global oceans, subscribers are invited to join the list and use it to
Inform about recent studies, articles and books in the field of maritime security (including promoting their own work).
Circulate call for papers and advertise events, workshops and conferences. These should be directed at or of interested for analysts and scholars in the field of maritime security and should be not-for-profit.
Raise questions on distinct research topics in the field of maritime security or invite to comment on a piece of work, such as a draft paper.
Point to major new policy documents and developments which are of general interest to the group (such as a new maritime security strategy).
SafeSeas is pleased to welcome our new postdoctoral research associate, Scott Edwards. Scott will be joining SafeSeas on our ongoing Transnational Organised Crime At Sea (TOCAS) project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and will be based at the University of Bristol. His primary role be will in assisting in the development of the upcoming evidence base that aims to improve our understanding of maritime crime and international responses to it, as well as assist in the mapping of regional maritime security governance systems.
Scott is in the final stages of his PhD from the University of Birmingham, where he analysed the role of trust in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations security community. In particular, he focused on the mediating impact of trust on the crises that occurred between Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, with an emphasis on maritime competition and parallel maritime cooperation. In his work Scott has primarily focused on Southeast Asian security issues, both traditional and non-traditional, which has led to various articles and book chapters. He has also produced work for Transparency International in the areas of Southeast Asian defence and security, and for the International Committee of the Red Cross on trust and diplomacy.
Scott recently attended various events with SafeSeas, including the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) friends of the chair strategy review, Counter-Terrorism Lessons from Maritime Piracy and Narcotics Interdiction at the Royal Danish Defence College, and the SafeSeas co-organised Roundtable on Maritime Crime. Summaries of discussions from these events can be found on our twitter (@Safeseas1).
Scott can be contacted at SAE195@bham.ac.uk, or found on twitter @scottedvvards
From 13th to 16th of May a series of maritime security related events took place in Singapore which SafeSeas director Prof. Bueger attended. The Information Fusion Centre (IFC) – the regional Maritime Domain Awareness center operated by the Singaporean navy – celebrated its 10th anniversary, it also launched a new information sharing platform and held the annual exercise MARISX. For a summary of these events, see Prof. Bueger blogpost. He also attended the IMDEX Asia exhibition and the 20 warships on display. He also participated in the International Maritime Security Conference held in conjunction with the exhibition.
The Djibouti Code of Conduct remains one of the major agreements in the Western Indian Ocean to strengthen regional cooperation in maritime security bringing countries from Africa and the Arabian Peninsula together. Initially only focused on piracy, the Code’s focus area was extended through the 2017 Jeddah Amendments to cover all types of maritime crimes. From the 23rd to 25th of April 2019 representatives from the Signatory States and the Friends of the Djibouti Code of Conduct met in Saudi Arabia to review the current progress and discuss priorities in implementation. SafeSeas Director Prof. Christian Bueger participated in the event. He chaired a panel on the nature of maritime crimes, and gave two short presentations.
To improve education in the field of maritime security and increase general awareness for the sea, the SafeSeas team is working on a curriculum for teaching the subject. For the first time, a course at master level is to commence this week as part of the programme of the Department of Political Science of the University of Copenhagen. Over 14 weeks, students will learn about the issues, concepts, and actors of maritime security after which they are tasked to write and/or edit a Wikipedia entry on maritime security.
As part of its biennial multi-national naval exercise Aman, the Pakistani government is organizing an International Maritime Conference. This years iteration had the theme “Global Geopolitics in Transition: Rethinking Maritime Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region”. As part of the conference SafeSeas director Prof. Bueger gave a keynote address arguing that Pakistan needs to peer towards the Western Indian Ocean, rather then rely on a broader regional construct. Drawing on the current work of Safeseas on a regional guide, Prof. Bueger asked what the right security architecture for the Western Indian Ocean is. Further information on the conference is available here. A copy the my talk is available here.
In January 2019, SafeSeas’ director Prof. Tim Edmunds, visited the National Maritime Information Centre (NMIC) in Portsdown, UK. NMIC, is one of the most interesting international role models of how to organise Maritime Domain Awareness on a national level. Understanding how its worked might be replicated in other regions of the world, is one important part of the answer of how to fight maritime crime.
While hosted by the Royal Navy, NMIC has an interesting governance structure and is not ‘owned’ by any one individual ministry or department. It is a collective resource, shared and funded by a range of government bodies and agencies with interests in the sea. Continue Reading
One of the core areas work of the SafeSeas’ project TOCAS is Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). Asking how MDA can become a fruitful tool for better law enforcement at sea, the disruption of transnational organised crime as well as increased cooperation, the SafeSeas team is developing a guide.
On the 24th of January, SafeSeas Director Prof. Bueger had the opportunity to discuss the draft guide with colleagues from Southeast Asia during an event organised by the Maritime Security Programme of RSIS.
MDA is often considered to be one of the keys for addressing maritime insecurity as it provides the knowledge and understanding for policy, institutional reforms as well as operational responses. The one day event had the objective to review the state of MDA in Southeast Asia on a national and regional level. Participants agreed about the value of MDA, but identified quite significant hurdles to achieve better knowledge of the sea.
In his talk Prof. Bueger introduced the work on key guidelines for MDA, summarized some of the promises and argued that many of the known hurdles can be overcome through institutional procedures. The slides of the talk are available here.
SafeSeas presented it’s draft guidelines for maritime domain awareness (MDA) at a meeting of the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) organised by the Internaitonal Maritime Organisation. At the meeting which was a follow up to the 2018 meeting in Jeddah, the next steps were discussed on how to improve the information sharing network of DCoC, and how to share best practices concerning setting up national MDA centers. If you are interested in the draft version of the guidelines for building capacity in maritme domain awareness, kindly contact Prof. Bueger.