The sea plays an important role, especially in trade and communication. Most of the world’s trade is conducted by sea. Besides, for telecommunications, there are submarine cables that will transmit most of the communication data for people all around the world.
The importance of the sea is in line with the maritime issues it has. Let’s say maritime smuggling of ivory, drugs, or antiquities is conducted by criminal networks which then funds terrorists.
The Definition of Maritime Security
Maritime security is a term to classify issues that countries found in the maritime domain. It is related to the marine environment, national security, and also human security. In general, their subject is the world’s oceans. Yet, to make it more specific, they also concern for regional seas, rovers, territorial waters, and ports. The concept of this security is now not only talking about national power projection but also interconnected fields.
Though there was a conference on maritime security, especially African sea security, there is no exact definition of it. The term is then used for both international and regional challenges to maritime issues.
Some maritime issues that most countries experience include armed robbery, piracy, illicit goods, human-trafficking, marine pollution, and also illegal fishing.
From this description, we know then that a sea is a central place for maritime security. It has different roles including the source of threats like piracy, as a geopolitical power projection, as connectors between countries to reach globalization, and as military disputes.
Maritime Shipping Issues
Shipping is one thing that makes the sea important. The logistics of shipping and trading need the sea. And if problems occur, the chain of consumption will not be optimized. Efficiency in technology and chain optimization are two issues mostly faced by countries. Yet, the most important one is carbon fuels. Nowadays, the goal of worldwide shipping is how to reduce carbon emissions. Having carbon-neutral fuels is one of the answers. There is a strategy to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 by 50%.
Data theft and cyber attacks are other maritime issues that some countries may experience. Even this issue is included in top political risks that arise in recent years. The cyber threat that you find in the industry, including shipping, becomes an important issue from past years. The struggle is real since hackers are more sophisticated, while most people start to be dependent on several digital services.
Oversupply is one of the maritime issues that has been a problem in the shipping industry. It is because the demand from China, which is known as the world’s largest importer slows down. This of course will affect the market. And the ship’s owners sometimes have to hold the goods on their ships for some time, until the price is normal.
Other roles like seafarers also face several difficulties, like hard to join the ship. This has something to do with the fast loading of the cargo. Thus, it results in the difficulties of the seafarers to get into the ship on time. Sometimes the seafarers have to wait for a long time because of the visa approval. Once the visa is processed, their ship is ready to sail.
Another seafarers issue is that the ship doesn’t have enough time to maintain the ships at ports. Seafarers may only have a short time to stay so that they cannot conduct the maintenance works on their ships. The issue is related to the ports.