The UK’s first ever National Strategy for Maritime Security was published at the UK Chamber of Shipping on Tuesday, May 13, by the Shipping and Armed Forces Ministers.
The publication was characterized as “a major step forward for the shipping industry and demonstrates the UK’s commitment to seafarer safety and securing world trade.”
The maritime sector is vital to the UK, accounting for over 2% of the entire economy and supporting one in every 50 jobs. As an island nation, most of the country’s connections to the wider world are provided by the sea with over 90% of its trade carried by ship.
“The safety of our seafarers is therefore a priority of international importance, and work is also needed in the promotion of regional growth and the stability of international trade. It is for these reasons that the UK is now setting the agenda for tackling the ongoing threats,” the UK Chamber of Shipping explained in a press release.
UK Chamber CEO Guy Platten said:
“Piracy may not be making as many headlines this year as it has before, but it is still a major threat to the safety of seafarers in many parts of the world, particularly in West Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea, where it is increasing – reducing these risks must be a priority.
“This is why we are pleased to welcome today’s publication. The strategy will not only make an immediate impression on the safety of UK ships and seafarers, but also demonstrates the UK’s approach to addressing some of the root causes of piracy in other parts of the world, including capacity building on land.”
“Increasing awareness and finding solutions for the complex problems of maritime security are crucial. The NSMS will allow industry to share its specialist knowledge across government to develop better joint responses to threats and we look forward to continuing this work together.”
The publication launching event was hosted by Grahaeme Henderson, Shell’s Vice President of Shipping and Maritime and Chair of the UK Chamber’s Defence and Security Committee.
The strategy can be read in full here.
UK Chamber of Shipping, May 15, 2014