The tendency to ignore activities occurring at sea is a phenomenon known in the maritime law enforcement community as sea blindness. It has had, and will continue to have, detrimental impacts on the environment, economic development, and human security. Critically, sea blindness also hampers campaigns to counter maritime terrorism and other forms of violent extremism.
Combating Violent Non-State Actors
Most efforts to eliminate violent non-state actors occur on land, yet at sea these groups are nearly uncontested all over the globe. As a result, sea blindness has allowed violent groups to orchestrate attacks on soft maritime targets, finance their activities through trafficking and exploitation, and coordinate their operations with maritime movements of weapons and fighters. The governments and multilateral initiatives working to stop maritime terrorism must see the sea for the opportunities it presents to these groups. Until then, violent non-state actors will continue to exploit poor maritime governance to support political violence on shore. Stable Seas is engaged with global partners to better understand these activities and organize new efforts to stop them. This requires collaboration with military branches, government agencies, and multilateral organizations that focus on the many facets of this complex problem. The following resources provide more information on our work in this area.