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Small Vessel Security Strategy

Published April 2008


National Strategy

Small Vessel Security Strategy

The Department of Homeland Security produced this strategy document. The foreward states, "Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, maritime security efforts have focused primarily on large commercial vessels, cargoes, and crew. Efforts to address the small vesselenvironment have largely been limited to traditional safety and basic law enforcement concerns. Small vessels are, however, readily vulnerable to potential exploitation by terrorists, smugglers of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), narcotics, aliens, and other contraband, and other criminals. Small vessels have also been successfully employed overseas by terrorists to deliver Waterborne Improvised Explosive Devices (WBIEDs).

...Currently, the U.S. Government has an incomplete knowledge of the international recreational boating public, their travel patterns, and the facilities they use. Couple this with the limited information available regarding fishing fleets and the multitude of small commercial vessels operating in or near U.S. waters and the complexity of the issue becomes obvious.

Hence, there is a clear need to close security gaps and enhance the small vessel security environment. The Small Vessel Security Strategy (SVSS) addresses these concerns and provides a coherent framework to improve maritime security and safety. It envisions a coordinated effort of Federal, state, local, and Tribal authorities, together with international partners, private industry, and recreational users of the waterways."

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