BLUF

Australia needs a whole of government approach to improving regional maritime security.

Summary

Drugs, illegal fishing, dumping, climate change, oil pollution, World War II shipwrecks, invasive feral species and marine litter are serious issues for Pacific Island nations. As most of these countries are small and only have limited resources, they need to work together to develop laws and regulations for customs, fisheries, immigration, and defence. Indian Ocean Island nations such as Sri Lanka generally have much bigger economies, however, they also still need to address the same sort of issues as do smaller Pacific Island Nations. Australia, as part of both the Pacific and Indian Ocean region, can enhance its security by providing support to smaller nations in both the Indian and Pacific oceans by helping them strengthen regional institutions. One approach is for the coastguards of the Quad, Japan, India, Australia, and the USA to work together see The Interpreter article a ‘Quad’ of coastguards. What else can Australia do to help smaller regional nations?