SafeSeas at North Sea Neighbours Conference 2023

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SafeSeas director Professor Tim Edmunds joined a UK FCDO delegation at the NL-UK North Sea Neighbours conference in The Hague, NL, on 7 December as a speaker on Subsea Critical National Infrastructure protection (CMIP).

He emphasised the importance of the North Sea as a test bed for critical maritime infrastructure protection, and focusing on emerging best practices, including:

  • Mechanisms for policy integration across departments and security regimes;
  • Structures for operational coordination between agencies and states;  
  • Formats for dialogue, information sharing and trust building with industry actors;
  • Maritime monitoring and surveillance through MDA and MSA.

Drawing on insights from SafeSeas’ November 2023 symposium on CMIP in Copenhagen, he went on to discuss knowledge gaps and the key choices that need to be made in future, highlighting the need to establish:

  • A balance between ensuring resilience through duplication and redundancy, and more proactive approaches such as protection measures, monitoring and surveillance, and deterrence;
  • A clearer definition and assessment of criticality in maritime infrastructures;
  • Systematic modelling of the interconnections between infrastructures and the long-term horizon scanning for risks and threats;
  • Clarity in burden sharing and responsibilities between the state and industry actors, including self-protection measures, resourcing and risk;
  • Appropriate regional arrangements and structures for collabortive CMIP in the North Sea.