Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean: Perceived Threats, Impacts, and Solutions

The third report in the Caught Red-Handed paper series, this brief analyzes expert opinions about threats to maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean. The findings are based on survey responses from 110 maritime security professionals, ranging from naval forces to wildlife and customs officials, across ten countries in the region. Nearly 80 percent of experts agreed illegal fishing posed a significant security threat to their country and damaged the national economy and local livelihoods. Most experts also believed there is a relationship between illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other forms of conflict in their country.

The Caught Red-Handed workshops explored possible solutions to illegal fishing. Experts agreed information sharing and joint regional patrols are the most useful approaches to combating IUU fishing, highlighting an appetite for increased collaboration in maritime security. These areas also require more resources.  

Key Findings

Secure Fisheries encourages policymakers and other stakeholders and change agents to support locally-driven approaches to combating illegal fishing. Maritime security experts supported the following recommendations:

Expand Information SharingEstablish Joint Regional Patrols