Small Vessel Security to Safeguard Waterways

The Department of Homeland Security has announced a Small Vessel Security Strategy Implementation Plan to deal with risks involving terrorist action on America's waterways including its ports and shores. The Small Vessel Security Strategy Implementation Plan was created to address the risks arising from the use of commercial or recreational small vessels as a means to smuggle terrorists or weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, into the United States or as a means of direct attack. The Strategy aims to Develop a partnership with the small vessel owner community to enhance the understanding of anything that could impact the nation's safety, security, economy and environment. Strengthen maritime security and safety with the use of strong and aggressive strategies as part of a plan with a layered approach. Leverage technology to enhance capabilities to detect and stop small vessels engaged in anti-national activities Improve coordination, cooperation and communication between the public and private sectors and international partners The plan advocates a layered approach to achieve a strong strategy against potential maritime threats. According to the Department of Homeland Security, no single method can be used to deal with a particular threat. Rather, a combination of techniques is necessary to deal with known and unknown threats. The plan includes ongoing activities that support the goals of the Small Vessel Security Strategy. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it became clear to maritime lawyers that our ports and other maritime waterways were just as much at risk of infiltration as our airports. Since then, the Department of Homeland Security has been focusing on strengthening security at ports, harbors and other entry points, to prevent terrorist attacks through these routes.

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