South Africa: Tech Innovations Are Key to South Africa's Maritime Security

To maintain the benefits of new technology, shrinking maritime capabilities and budget cuts need to be overcome.

South Africa is building and using sophisticated technology to combat maritime crimes and make its notoriously treacherous oceans safer for seafarers. A new Institute for Security Studies (ISS) report shows how a variety of measures are being implemented to improve the country's overall Maritime Domain Awareness.

South Africa's location at the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian oceans and astride the globally important Cape shipping route, means that thousands of vessels constantly approach, transit or depart the country's maritime domain. While most are innocently going about their business, some are involved in illegal fishing, poaching, smuggling and trafficking, and could pose a security threat if allowed to proceed.

The country's approach allows authorities such as the South African Navy and the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries to remotely track and determine whether to intercept suspicious targets. It can help identify patterns of criminal behaviour at sea, highlighting areas where illegal activities are most likely to occur and compiling a database of culprits to monitor and take action.

Integrated Vessel Tracking technology is key to dealing with both the sheer number of vessels at sea, and the fact that some switch off the location transponders they're legally obligated to carry. Location and identity data acquired from radar imagery, ob....

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