Chapter 21: Maritime space
Maritime security governance has come into increasing prominence following the attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001. Prior to those attacks, maritime security was primarily focused on traditional security concerns relating to the protection of borders and the concomitant exertion of authority over resources within those borders. Other ‘second order’ maritime security concerns, such as transnational crime and piracy, had also been matters addressed in questions of oceans governance. With the 11 September attacks, there was greater realization of the devastation that could potentially be caused by deliberate disruptions to international shipping and how the oceans could be used to facilitate and serve those actors posing threats to maritime stability. The meaning of maritime security varies depending on the user. For those in national defense forces, charged with maintaining the security of their state and its interests, maritime security is very much directed to threats to the border and to a state’s territory and resources. For those working in the international shipping industry, maritime security will be focused on the safety of vessels and those on board vessels as they ply ocean routes collecting and delivering goods throughout the world. Policing and other agencies concerned with protecting civil society will focus maritime security on addressing threats that potentially harm that society, such as drug trafficking, piracy and people-smuggling.
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