The UK has been the country at the forefront of innovation in maritime security. Spearheading Maritime Domain Awareness initiatives, inter-agency coordination and maritime security strategies, the UK provides an important case for how to organize holistic responses to maritime insecurity.
One of these initiatives is the UK Maritime Threat Group (MTG); a cross governmental coordination committee that meets bi-weekly to discuss maritime security issues and responses. Created in 2020, the group is chaired by the UKs Joint Maritime Security Centre (JMSC) and comprises representatives from the multiple UK departments, agencies and authorities working on maritime security and related issues.
SafeSeas Directors Timothy Edmunds and Christian Bueger were invited to address the group to introduce participants to the work of SafeSeas. They presented core SafeSeas findings regarding the importance of holistic thinking across agencies and recognizing the interlinkages of different maritime security issues and blue crimes. They also flagged a number of coordination challenges as well as potential solutions.
The second part of the presentation concerned rising issues on the maritime security agenda. Rethinking which issues need to occupy the long-term horizon, Edmunds and Bueger showed how climate change will lead to new patterns of blue crime and a new spectrum of tasks for maritime security law enforcement. They also argued that the protection of subsea infrastructures, in particular the submarine cable network, will become issues of growing importance in fuur.
The Q&A led to a substantial discussion on the land sea nexus, coordination challenges and Maritime Security Strategy. SafeSeas looks forward to supporting this process in with our objective of feeding relevant academic knowledge into policy processes and debates.