Maritime Border Delimitation Maritime Boundaries Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


Those investors even with peaked interest were and still are clearly reluctant to explore and excavate for resources if they will ultimately be told that such minerals do not belong to them, as a result of the region from which they came, or build semi-permanent offshore exploration and collection facilities if they risk being told later that they must move them as a result of where they are.


Likely the most essential issue at hand with regard to maritime border delineation is the maintenance and enforcement of security for seagoing vessels of all sizes and kinds as well as for the definitions of aggression. War and state aggression cannot be determined if such is based at sea and security forces of any kind have no value if they cannot enforce laws and borders within a certain set of agreed upon guidelines for appropriate action. In this climate vessels and land are left at risk of all types of security breeches, including but not limited to state aggression or acts of war, terrorism, human trafficking, and likely most importantly acts of piracy. Current failure of the international community to come to common terms with regard to maritime borders leaves everyone at risk for the fallout of such issues as those listed above.

Another issue is safety at sea, with regard to who is ultimately responsible for acting in emergencies, to come to the aide of seagoing vessels in distress.

War/State Aggression

Determining what acts are to be considered official acts of war that require state response is difficult in a climate where maritime borders are non-delineated. If borders where more reasonably defined issues such as offshore nuclear testing and direct acts of aggression could be more easily defined, controlled and possibly resolved.

In a sense though this is the simplest aspect of security with regard to maritime borders, as other issues become much more cloudy and difficult but can benefit from greater delineation of maritime borders.

Acts of war poorly defined simply lead to further confusion about response as well as determined acceptable action on the part of any entity.

With more clearly defined maritime borders there is a clear sense that it will be easier for nations and other entities to determine just what constitutes and act of war and how to respond, on a national and international level.


Terrorism clearly is an issue that is far more complicated than acts of state aggression as the enemy is far more elusive and difficult to control. Yet, this is not to say that border delineation might have a positive effect on responsibility at the very least for acts of terrorism and the enforcement of laws and regulations regarding it. Currently it is difficult to determine just who is responsible for dealing with maritime security, with regard to terrorism or any real security threat to individuals or entities at sea.

Port security as well as offshore safety from piracy for terrorist purposes as well as direct acts of terrorism upon seagoing vessels are significant social and international threats and should be further bolstered by legal maritime border delineation.

Arms/Drugs and other Illegitimate Trafficking/Human Trafficking

Arms trafficking and other illegitimate trade support further illegal activities, of the terrorism nature and other natures as a they finance other actions.

Human trafficking is also an issue of social concern that needs address and would be logically aided by the delineation of maritime borders, as when individuals are at sea they are far more vulnerable than when they are ashore as enforcement of illegal acts against them beyond the act of trafficking them in the first place occur and authorities have little recourse to ensure their safety and possible safe return. This will likely become are more important as security in legitimate transportation systems becomes fare better in response to international and domestic threats. When traffickers take to the sea their cargo is far less controllable and people and resources are much more at risk.

Arms, goods and other black market supplies and goods trafficking is also significantly aided by the lack of national and international maritime delimitation.


Probably one of the most important issues with regard to maritime border delimitation and security is piracy, which has recently taken on a new face and even before the challenged economic state encroached on the world with regard to economic security this was so.

McMillan points out that not only has piracy endured through the ages it is becoming far more common and sophisticated in this era; "…piracy has not only survived but is flourishing. In the year 2000 there were 469 attacks -- an increase of 56 per cent on 1999. Going back over the decade the increase in actual and attempted pirate attacks is seen to be even more dramatic: that 469 compared with 107 in 1991. Preliminary figures for 2001 are for about 300 attacks but whether that is a trend will be shown this year."

It must also be made very clear that piracy effects far more than those directly involved in it.

Piracy severely impacts domestic economies, the international economy, and political stability. Disruption of the fishing industry harms local economies and leaves people more susceptible to further impoverishment. As pirate attacks worsen, states that do not effectively combat pirates lose their international reputations -- companies are less likely to send their vessels both near these countries' territorial waters and into their ports, and the lack of government protection decreases prospects for foreign direct investment and trade, which in turn causes the economies of pirate-plagued nations to suffer. Furthermore, pirates often use the money they obtain to arm rebel groups in the region. Recent evidence shows that Somali pirates often operate in league with local warlords or clans. In this way, the activity can become a direct threat to governmental stability.

Piracy has been one of the greatest scourges of the earth and sea since individuals first took to sea for exploration and trade. Piracy affects everyone, all the way down the line from the corporation and individuals directly affected by it to international interests. Though, there has been a recent upsurge in reporting on the issue of piracy which has brought it to the publics' attention less is known by the public about just how common and deadly such acts really are. Maritime border delineation would seriously assist security forces in the development of strategies and standards for how to respond to such acts and simply to some degree who to call when such acts occur. Though security responsibility may be costly the impacts of not acting can be far more costly and could potentially continue to downgrade national interests in some already struggling nations. Clear maritime borders would also help such nations that struggle with piracy ask for help and receive it from others, who might be reluctant in situations where the borders are murky.

Conclusion/International Negotiations

It is very clear that many entities would benefit from delaminated maritime borders. Though it is also clear that negotiating these borders is challenging and multi-faceted. Creating a system that would universalize procedures and allow a sort of template for such developments would be adventitious to many as issues of resource allocation and security continue to grow in import as the world becomes a smaller place in the confines of globalization.

Litigation might be avoided, causing less liability for those who seek to build and create resource pools for both commercial and public use.

Individuals and states would have greater opportunity to clearly define responses to security issues of all kinds and in general the world would likely be a much safer place to live in and the seas much safer places for legitimate travel and trade.

Litigation might be avoided and equity might be better established if maritime delimitation were more common and universal.

We can no longer rely on the old standards of historical maritime tradition as the defining factors of seafaring use and abuse.

Sensitivity for all involved must drive standards and opportunity for individual case-based decisions must also be considered but overall maritime boundary delimitation will be good for all and seriously matters in the future of the world.


Albert, Mathias, and Lothar Brock. "1 What Keeps Westphalia Together? Normative Differentiation in the Modern System of States." Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International Relations Theory. Ed. Mathias Albert, David Jacobson, and Yosef Lapid. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001. 29-37.

Anderson, Teresa. "Protection to Port Side: The Port of New Orleans Has a Multipronged Approach to Security along Its 22 Miles of Waterfront." Security Management Aug. 2003: 46.

Antrim, Caitlyn L. "Mineral Resources of Stateless Space: Lessons from the Deep Seabed." Journal of International Affairs 59.1 (2005): 55.

Anwar, Dewi Fortuna.…

Sources Used in Document:

. Mathias Albert, and Lothar Brock, "1 What Keeps Westphalia Together? Normative Differentiation in the Modern System of States," in Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International Relations Theory ed. Mathias Albert, David Jacobson, and Yosef Lapid (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), 39.

. Mathias Albert, and Lothar Brock, "1 What Keeps Westphalia Together? Normative Differentiation in the Modern System of States," in Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International Relations Theory ed. Mathias Albert, David Jacobson, and Yosef Lapid (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), 39.

. Allen Buchanan and Margaret Moore, eds., States, Nations, and Borders: The Ethics of Making Boundaries (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 115.

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