Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2014

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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22 Proceedings Spring 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings the crew to remain aboard, conducting extensive exami- nations and inspections of persons and cargo, and other actions as necessary to ensure the safety and security of the port and the vessel. For noncommercial traffc such as small pleasure craft, the challenge is more acute, unlike the air domain where take- off and landing locations are limited, reporting is required, and radar tracking is constant for noncommercial aircraft. In the maritime domain, pleasure craft can move about the maritime commons due to their large numbers and rela- tively small profle, particularly in coastal waters, without attracting much attention. Further, there is no requirement for these vessels to fle an advance notice of arrival. Registra- tion requirements and markings vary signifcantly among nations and even between local jurisdictions. Additionally, pleasure craft are not mandated to use a tracking device like the Automated Identifcation System, which is required of commercial vessels, or a vessel monitoring system, which commercial fshing vessels use. Hence, law enforcement personnel must rely on a combina- tion of tactical information, local knowledge, law enforce- ment experience, and specialized training to identify and respond to potential threats. Using its broad authority under 14 U.S.C. 89, USCG personnel routinely patrol U.S. jurisdic- tional waters as well as in international waters to detect, stop, board, inspect, examine, and search vessels suspected of engaging in or supporting illicit activities. In addition, USCG units board non-suspect vessels as well to ensure compliance with safety regulations and to project a deter- rent presence in the maritime domain. While often forgotten in the challenge to maintain border security and protect American sovereign and economic interests, the U.S. Coast Guard is the only agency patrol- ling and protecting critical offshore infrastructure, sources of energy, and natural resources within the 3.34-million square mile U.S. exclusive economic zone. This important long-range border control func- tion protects that infrastructure, as well as a fshing industry that contributes to more than a quar- ter of a trillion dollars to the U.S. economy annually. 5 In carrying out its living marine resources responsibilities, Coast Guard offcials monitor exclusive economic zone boundaries and areas closed to fshing activity to protect threatened species. They also board fshing vessels at sea A Framework for Success Effective border security requires the right mix of authori- ties, capabilities, capacities, and partnerships. DHS includes Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration, the Transportation Security Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard; together these agencies bring a plethora of border security tools. Within the DHS border security enterprise, the Coast Guard has primary responsibility for securing the maritime bor- ders and facilitating the fow of legitimate maritime traffc. For commercial traffc, this begins in foreign ports with security and anti-terrorism assessments and ends with port state control and security measures taken in U.S. territo- rial waters and port facilities. Well before arrival, each ves- sel's crew and cargo are screened and assessed as to their potential threat level. Potential threats vary from individual crew members and passengers to the cargo or the vessel itself. The nature of the threat could be related to terrorist activities, smuggling operations, environmental dangers, and safety concerns. Depending on t he nat ure and level of the threat, USCG and CBP personnel take appropriate action including boarding the vessel at sea, refusing the vessel permission to enter the United States, hav- ing the vessel anchor outside the port, escorting the vessel into port, requiring the vessel's master to hire additional security, requiring A petty offcer patrols New York harbor. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Mike Lutz. Team members from a joint dock side boarding and investiga- tion that included the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and Puerto Rico Police Department inspect a hidden void where more than 2,000 lbs of illicit drugs were found. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j. g. Eric Willis. Spring2014_FINAL.indd 22 3/21/14 11:13 AM

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