The growth of the world economy, as well as the energy transition, is causing increased traffic at sea and greater dependence on infrastructure at sea and on the seabed.
More wind farms, for example, mean that waterways are subject to more restrictions than before. Cruise and container ships are becoming larger and more autonomous, but the ports and port infrastructure are not growing sufficiently. This means that the risk of accidents increases.
Accidents with ships pose major risks for the crew, passengers, the environment (leakage and lost cargo) and the economy (blockade of ports and waterways). Offshore facilities are also vulnerable to accidents and attacks. The vulnerability of vital maritime infrastructure can have major consequences for Dutch and European society, for example in the event of a power or internet failure or due to the (threat of) presence of mines near the port of Rotterdam and other seaports. Cybersecurity is also becoming increasingly important as digitalization and automation increase.
The maritime sector wants to contribute to safe and smooth shipping traffic for an uninterrupted and efficient maritime flow of goods. Vulnerable, vital infrastructure at sea must also be protected against deliberate attacks and unintentional accidents. Despite the increased number of users at sea, waterways must remain safe and be used as efficiently as possible. Technological innovations are crucial to safeguard our people and maritime interests.