Call to class the Mediterranean as a High Risk Area

Tallinn: An Estonian security firm has called for the Mediterranean to be classed as a maritime High Risk Area akin to the waters off Somalia.

The head of ESC Global Security, Jaanus Rahumägi, made the call in the wake of the terrorist atrocities in Tunisia and Europe’s escalating migration crisis.

“There is a reasonable doubt that some refugees from these areas will be a threat to European security. Terrorists and fundamentalists will take advantage of the crisis if they haven’t already,” said Rahumägi.

He added: “With thousands crossing the Mediterranean from Africa and the Middle East each month, the abolition of Europe’s internal frontiers will make it easier for terrorists to move across Europe undetected. But the identities of migrants can be verified before they reach land by security personnel.”

However, Rahumägi dismissed calls to shift EUNAVFOR Atalanta, the European naval patrol operating in the Red Sea, to the Mediterranean in order to capture or destroy migrant ships.

“This is not the answer. Moving Atalanta simply because the risk of Somali piracy has been reduced does not mean it has been eradicated. A separate EUNAVFOR patrol is required and the Mediterranean should be given High Risk Area status until the migrant situation has been resolved,” he said.

Rahumägi, speaking with Maritime CEO yesterday, said cyber security and terrorism will be the main challenges the maritime industry will face over the coming years.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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