Maritime Security Alliance – Layers to Defend

The Maritime Security Alliance (MSA) is a cooperation between international maritime strategy and product developers from the Netherlands, Denmark, US, UK, Sweden and Germany. The cooperative objective is to investigate, combine and offer non-lethal self-protection products, services and strategies for merchant and fishing vessels transiting through high risk areas.

Non-lethal self protection vs private armed teams

The MSA was founded in 2012, when the development of non-lethal protection measures for merchant vessels intensified. It became clear that the protection by Government Vessel Protection Detachment teams (VPD’s), or Private Maritime Security Contractors (PMSC’s) would only be a short term solution to band-aid the centuries-old problem of maritime crime and piracy. Military teams are large, expensive and not always available in time. Also there may be severe regional legal implications when taking private armed guards onboard, for example near West-Africa. This undeniably increases risks for shipowners and especially shipmasters, who are ultimate responsible for everything on board.

Sharing our expertise on sustainable security systems

Michiel Hijmans joined the MSA in August 2014, after retiring from the Royal Netherlands Navy after 36 years of service. His last operational mission (2010-2011) was in the Indian Ocean countering piracy of the Coast of Somalia as commander of the NATO fleet. He is not only in charge of the MSA, but also contributes with his military and international diplomatic experience to the team. He can always be contacted directly in person and is available to everyone for information and advice. Looking forward to hear from you!

Layers of defense

The Maritime Security Alliance offers vessel hardening and self-protection products, services and strategies. The protective equipment is built up in layers: early detection, evasion, approach discouragement, anti-boarding, obstruction of movement and safe room (citadel).  Cooperation and coordination between the different categories of protection measures, result in an integrated optimal hardening and self-protection strategy for sea-going vessels.

Creating security awareness

Research and development of maritime self-protection equipment is vital to keep-up with the ever changing circumstances in which vessels are threatened and  vulnerable to maritime crime. Innovation and testing of protection equipment leads to reduction of additional supernumeral crew and decreases operational risks. The MSA enables vessels to operate in high-risk areas with sustainable optimum security while security expenses are decreased. This improves crew motivation and creates a maximum security awareness onboard. It promotes good duty-of-care from shipowner to master, crew and vessel, and is preferably integrated into the existing safety, security and emergency procedures within shipping companies.

Non-violent self-protection measures

The main advantages of the Maritime Security Alliance are:

  • Very low risk of hijacking incident;
  • Shared knowledge network for protection insights, techniques and lessons learned;
  • Reduction of costs by combining and integrating equipment for multiple vessels simultaneously.

Non-lethal self-protection measures are vital for long term sustainable protection. They are applicable in any high risk area in the world, regardless legislation or regulations in coastal areas. And consequently inviolable for persecution and/or heavy claims. It is therefore important to pro-actively take the necessary measures to ensure good duty-of-care for crew, vessel and cargo. The Maritime Security Alliance will assist you as your preferred partner in balanced self-protection of your fleet.

Maritime Security Alliance Team

MSA product test North Sea