Interrogating maritime security : a discourse from below.
Gopal, Nirmala Devi.
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The expanding volume of sea trade between South Africa and other parts of the global world places pressure on increased maritime security particularly because maritime security affects both communities living close to the sea as well as bi- and multilateral relations on the larger international scale. While most research studies focus on threats of piracy and the economic impacts of maritime security on international trade this paper seeks to critically explore maritime challenges at a more local level namely the voices of actors directly with first hand experiences of maritime matters. Using in depth semi structured face to face interviews with six participants within a qualitative framework the study concluded that maritime challenges are indeed larger than the traditional security challenges. Challenges included seafarers’ working conditions, stowaways, human and drug trafficking and piracy. The study makes recommendations for future large scale research on maritime challenges.