Issues, Challenges and National Policies
Edited by Khalid Bichou, Joseph S. Szyliowicz and Luca Zamparini
Chapter 16: Maritime security and piracy in Mauritius
An expansion in the level of international trade over the last few decades has highlighted the importance of the maritime sector to the global economy. Estimates suggest that more than 90 per cent of global trade is transported by sea (IMO, 2009). Maritime activity extends beyond the international transport of goods to national revenue-generating activities that include fishing and aquaculture, recreation and tourism, as well as extraction of non-renewable marine-based resources, and can be a critical source of income and food for populations at the community level. The maritime realm, defined as encompassing oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, coastlines and harbours, is vulnerable to a wide array of threats, including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; environmental degradation; smuggling; trafficking in persons; narcotics trafficking; piracy; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and aggressive actions, including terrorism. These maritime threats all have significant land-based dimensions, whether related to the origin of the threat, the locus of its effects or the land-based capabilities required for preventive or enforcement interventions. As a result, land-based actors and capabilities are as important to maritime security as the specialized maritime capabilities usually associated with maritime activities and institutions. Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in particular, are heavily dependent on their marine resources, for the sustainable livelihoods of coastal communities.
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