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Piracy as a Threat to Maritime Security


The focus of my dissertation was on piracy as a threat to the maritime security. The impact of piracy is not only felt by the maritime security; it can be considered an international issue affecting commercial routes. I have to admit that my project was relevant to my line of discipline of attaining MSc. in Maritime. I came to realise that most of my reading resources I came about had a strong belief that Piracy is a major concern and a threat to the global economy and peaceful co-existence. This was demonstrated by the numerous challenges that have been realised in the past and those that are still being realised from the pirates activities. The entire instances are concerned with the way of improving security at sea and the measures each country can take towards fighting the illegal activity. I gained more interested discussing the challenges in details while reflecting on the International maritime Security.

  1. The current Maritime security or Piracy as a Threat to Maritime Security

To understand the challenges posed by the issue of piracy as a threat to maritime security, it was necessary to understand the current trends that pirates use in deploying their tactics to evade the maritime security system in place. The current maritime security have tried to put necessary measures have the issue of piracy that are linked to terrorism have been reported in the Somali waters where Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram in Nigeria are linked to the maritime insecurity. According to my research finding, some of the insecurity can be blamed on the nations that are bordering the trade route waters where pirates pose threats.

One challenge is the zonation of the maritime waters and different laws that influence the prosecution of the perpetrators. The trans-boundary and the mobility of the maritime security system, the pirate perpetrators can cross to other boundaries after committing an offence hence making their punishment difficult. Some of the most affected areas are where the borders are long and have few security patrols and controls. These border weaknesses provide favourable conditions for corrupt politicians and thieves who wish to get financial gains through engaging in organised crimes. However, the difference have been realised, and most nations are working together towards addressing the challenge.

2. Evaluation Research into the Existing and new ISPS Code Technology

I can say that ISPS Code technology, which came into effect in July 2004, is a good step in the maritime security to help prevent risks and disasters that are posed by piracy and terrorism. It is factual that most regions of the world have suffered the hand of pirates either through loss of goods or through loss of lives due to abductions. The technology, which allows the ships only to enter waters upon registration, is a good strategy to know the position of the ships and their nationality. Chapter XI – on ‘special measures to enhance maritime security’ is an important section of the code and refers to the protection of cargo ships and passengers ships, which are mostly affected by the insecurity posed by pirates and terrorist.

Through the research process, this was the most important finding because I realised that there are different security levels in which the maritime security is being carried out. With reference to the ISPS code technology, level one security, which is a normal security and is the application of minimum security that is being maintained at all times in the affected regions. Level 2 security is heightened to waters that are prone to piracy and insecurity issues. The third level is an exceptional security, which is applied when there is a looming risk of piracy and other insecurity issues at sea. However, the code has since undergone some changes with the major one stating that the contracted government is gratified to address all the functions and priorities of the ISPS code and ensure all the expected security measures are in place.

3. Proposal for a new and Efficient Maritime security under ISPS Code

Throughout my research, I came to realise that maritime insecurity is an international issue and should not be left for one state or government to take the responsibility of dealing with the culprits. The code is comprehensive measures that is put in place and is agreed upon internationally as a way of enhancing maritime security. Despite the fact that ISPS code has proved to be reliable in performing its functions, I would propose some amendments to be made in the implementation of the code. Insecurity at sea does not look at only the larger commercial ships. The code should also consider smaller ships and boats because the pirated can take advantage and use small boats to attack the larger ships. There have been cases where pirates launch a night attack with small boats. Therefore, every government to ensure all the boats and ships comply to the ISPS code technology to enhance security at sea.

4. Cost-benefit Analysis for the Proposed Solution

According to Kraska (2011) On Maritime Security and Law of the sea, the main danger that maritime security is exposed to as result of piracy is commercial insecurity and navigation insecurity. The effect of piracy may result in financial loss, high cost of security, increase the cost of consumer products and increased damage to the marine environment. ISPS code technology may be expensive to the ship owners, but the benefits are much appreciated. No government wish to put their port at risk of pirates and terrorism. The implementation of the code by all the ships will be advantageous to the owners in having easy and acceptable access to various ports without worry. Those that fail to comply may have their ships withheld awaiting clearance, and this may incur some cost and consume time as the ships await clearance.

5. Project Plan for Implementation of Efficient Maritime Security under ISPS Code

According to my findings from the research work, ISPS code technology is a continuous process that if fully implemented can help save the maritime insecurity. Having looked at the Code technology and its provisions, I would propose a project plan targeting some of the imperative particulars that are not stated in the code provision. The areas to consider in the project plan include;

  • To develop a dialogue with all regions and governments to play a role in promoting and supporting ISPS Code because piracy and terrorism are a global issue.

  • Propose changes in the implementation process of the code, it should not be a burden to one government, but a joint venture between every government affected and those not affected directly.

  • Propose for involvement of AU and EU in taking top more responsibility in the implementation of the ISPS Code technology to ensure cooperation and coordinated management of maritime security.


Kraska, J. (2011). Modern Maritime Piracy: International law, strategy, and Diplomacy at sea. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.