Maritime security is integral to a strong blue economy, and weak legal frameworks are a major impediment to deterrence of maritime crime. Those were two key takeaways from Enhancing Maritime Security in Africa, a conference hosted by the Africa Center for Security Studies in Victoria, Seychelles from March 19th to the 23rd. More than 50 maritime security officials from 34 countries and regional organizations attended.
Dr. Sarah Glaser, Associate Director of Secure Fisheries, was invited to present One Earth Future’s Stable Seas Maritime Security Index to the conference. She highlighted the key links between fisheries, blue economic growth, and maritime security.
“Our research shows those countries in sub-Saharan Africa with the strongest domestic fisheries laws, lowest levels of foreign fishing, and highest measures of rule of law also have the healthiest fisheries. These issues go hand-in-hand,” said Dr. Glaser.
The lack of relevant national laws – for example, those defining piracy as a crime – mean at-sea interdictions rarely translate into prosecutions. But African military experts and policy makers are tackling evolving threats to maritime security. This includes new national security strategies, training of legal and judicial professionals, and information sharing between branches of the military, intelligence agencies, and other nations.
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