Action background

Over the last decades maritime safety and security have become priorities of many States and of several international fora with the aim of establishing a correct balance between, on one hand, the goal of preserving all the freedoms of the seas and, on the other hand, the need for more secure and safe seas. However, the notion of maritime safety and the notion of maritime security can be easily confused, both conceptually and linguistically and, in effect, in some languages there is only one word (as an example “seguridad” and “sicurezza”) to express both the concepts. This circumstance is due mainly to the absence of a general accepted meaning of those notions: indeed, in the absence of any official definition, their content depends on the objectives for which the terminology is used. Generally speaking, maritime safety is applicable to procedures to make the ship and the individuals safer at any stage of its activities. Maritime security, on the other hand, refers to any threats to ships, coming from wars and from wilful assault by other men (piracy, terrorist attacks, illegal immigration, drugs trafficking, civil wars and international conflicts). From this perspective, the recent practice has shown the weakness of international law instruments in dealing with these new challenges and in adjudicating colliding interests at sea such as the use of a diverse range of technologies related to marine renewable resources and nuclear activities minimising, at the same time, the conflict with other traditional marine activities including fisheries and commercial shipping. The launch of Marsafenet Cost Action, therefore, aspires to bringing together and consolidating knowledge fragmented in polycentric issues on maritime security and safety issues as well as for looking into the developing process of their inter-linkages taking into account the increasing trend of privatization of maritime distress and safety system services.