UK launches new five-year maritime security strategy

HMC Nimrod, a coastal patrol craft of the UK Border Force (Photo: C McBride)

The UK government has launched a new strategy that will enhance capabilities in technology, innovation, and cyber security in response to the latest physical and cyber threats to maritime security.

The five-year strategy sets out the guiding principles for the UK government’s approach to managing threats and risks at home and around the world, including leveraging the UK’s world-leading seabed mapping community and tackling illegal fishing and polluting activities at sea.

The new strategy redefines maritime security as upholding laws, regulations and norms to deliver a free, fair and open maritime domain. With this new approach, the government rightly recognises any illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and environmental damage to UK seas as a maritime security concern.

In addition, to enhance the UK’s maritime security knowledge, the government has established the UK Centre for Seabed Mapping (UK CSM), which seeks to enable the UK’s seabed mapping sector to collaborate to collect more and better data.

Working with industry and academia, Secretaries of State from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department for Transport (DFT), the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) will focus on a number of strategic objectives including the following:

  • Protecting homeland: delivering the world’s most effective maritime security framework for the UK’s borders, ports and infrastructure.
  • Responding to threats: taking a whole system approach to bring capabilities and expertise to bear to respond to new, emerging threats.
  • Ensuring prosperity: ensuring the security of international shipping, the unimpeded transmission of goods, information and energy to support continued global development and economic prosperity.


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