The world’s oceans are sources of prosperity and economic vitality: as much as 90% of intercontinental trade is moved by sea. In the sea, people find food, energy and enormous reserves of raw materials. The merchant fleets are continuing to grow and, with them, the economic centres on the coasts.
At the same time, this maritime traffic, the peaceful utilization of the sea, and the coastal regions are exposed to a diversity of growing dangers. Besides the usual hazards of navigation, other threats – such as terrorism, piracy, smuggling and human trafficking – are also on the rise. The oceans must be made safer for us all.