The Pacific features large navies and the world's strongest fishing economies, but also intense geopolitical rivalries, fractured multilateral institutions, troubling drug trafficking trends, and acute threats to the marine environment.
The eastern portion of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal form a critical hub in the global maritime trade. However, the region is vulnerable to climate change and transoceanic trades in drugs, wildlife products, and arms.
The western Indian Ocean region has overcome the scourge of piracy off the coast of Somalia. Now, governments must build productive blue economies while confronting the area's remaining coastal hotspots of violent extremism.
This critical shipping chokepoint is challenged by violent coastal conflicts, but the region is also leveraging substantial international assistance to build maritime domain awareness and naval and maritime law enforcement capacity.
Pirates and hostage-takers have made the Gulf of Guinea a particularly dangerous place for seafarers, but African governments are developing promising and holistic multilateral institutions for integrated maritime governance.
Lingering maritime disputes and major ongoing conflicts in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean have threatened maritime security and governance in this region. Migration and trafficking in arms and persons are grave challenges.
The political geography of this region, which includes many micro-states and countries with split maritime fronts, makes maritime security a unique and pressing challenge. States must cooperate to overcome entrenched criminal cartels.
The global maritime domain is ever-evolving, and new patterns of behavior are arising in areas like the Arctic, the north Atlantic, and the South China Sea. This section provides occasional news and updates on these trends.