Publication of the UK’s first ever National Strategy for Maritime Security, launched on May 13th at the UK Chamber of Shipping by the Shipping and Armed Forces Ministers, is a major step forward for the shipping industry, according to the UK Chamber of Shipping it 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 UK’s connections to the wider world are provided by the sea with over 90% of their trade carried by ship,” said UK Chamber of Shipping in its release.
The safety of UK’s 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 comprehensive new National Strategy for Maritime Security (NSMS) marks a major step forward and delivers an objective the UK Chamber has been working to achieve for many years, to create an effective strategy that connects across Government and responds to the maritime security risks to which UK’s seafarers are exposed.
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 welcomed 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 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.
Press Release, May 16, 2014; Image: UK Chamber of Shipping