The Information Fusion Centre (IFC) hosted the 37th Shared Awareness Meeting (SAM) on 22 Feb. More than 220 partners from 31 countries participated, consisting of stakeholders from maritime enforcement agencies, the shipping community, and other information fusion centres around the world.
At this meeting, subject matter experts from maritime authorities such as United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) Dubai, Maritime Information Cooperation & Awareness (MICA) centre, and Maritime Information Fusion Centre for Latin America spoke on the maritime security (MARSEC) situation in their respective regions. Swire Pacific Offshore, a key partner, also joined the session to provide their insights and lessons learnt from a hijack incident in the Gulf of Guinea.
During his update on the maritime security in the region, LCDR Christian Hegering, German International Liaison Officer attached at IFC, reminded the maritime community of the continued need to stay vigilant. He said, "While COVID-19 brought the world to an almost complete stop in 2020, MARSEC incidents continued to take place, with a total of 1919 recorded incidents within IFC's Area of Interest."
At the end of the session, LTC Lester Yong, Head Information Fusion Centre, said, "Your participation reaffirms our shared commitment towards maritime security and cooperation between enforcement agencies and the shipping community, which is vital in keeping our seas safe for all."
SAM is an important platform conducted tri-annually to engage with the various stakeholders to enable the sharing of regional and global maritime issues, and to learn from each other about industry's best practices. The importance of platforms like SAM, is made even more apparent given the challenges faced in Maritime Security (MARSEC) and the shipping community due to the COVID-19 pandemic.