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A deep dive into the Value of Protecting EEZs

Our seas cover 70% of the earth’s surface and remain the primary means for global trade, energy exploration, shipment, communication, and are a primary food source. In addition, undersea cables provide most of the intercontinental communication infrastructure that supports over $3 trillion per day in commerce.

Protecting, restoring, and sustaining the natural environment of an EEZ (200NM from shore) requires persistent monitoring and is critical to the livelihood of a nation. Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) are the most heavily trafficked, fished, and exploited areas on the globe, and it falls under the responsibility of each sovereign country to protect this space for the purpose of “exploring, exploiting, conserving, and managing living and non-living resources,” according to the Law of the Sea.

Sovereign Nation Capability and Capacity Gaps for EEZ Monitoring

Monitoring and enforcing protection of an EEZ has proven resource intensive with manned vessels, infrastructure, data analysis, and equipment cost/sustainment. Most countries do not posses the systems or technical expertise to efficiently collect and analyze holistic data streams that drive decisions. A breakdown of the capability and capacity gaps that most countries experience are as follows:

  1. Inability to conduct simulation and modeling to optimize sensors to meet environmental monitoring needs.

  2. Inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel to operate and maintain very technical systems.

  3. Incomplete Maritime Framework and sensor networks.

  4. Lack of data integration and analysis to identify patterns of life to inform decisions.

  5. Inability to rapidly adopt and integrate new technologies to collect essential ocean variables

This leaves no room for decisionmakers to lose situational awareness across their EEZ and cede this space to an adversary or competitor. The premium on precise, up-to-date, and pertinent details of the maritime environment is at the highest in a generation. Fulfilling these requirements must leverage new technologies and approaches that integrate capabilities across all domains. This environment is now dominated by the internet, the expansion/ proliferation of information technology, the widespread availability of wireless and satellite communications, autonomous platforms, and the far-reaching impact of social media.

Our Tailored Solution

Private industry is best suited to effectively monitor this environment and collect and analyze essential ocean variables. Private industry can retain trained autonomous vehicle operators and engineers over the long term, rapidly adopt new technologies, and tie directly into academia and government agencies to rapidly process large data files. By having private industry provide environmental monitoring of partner and ally EEZs across the globe, we will allow for greater exposure of illegal, unregulated, and illicit maritime activities ranging from illegal fishing to polluting protected areas. The obscurity that countries are exploiting to conduct these activities must be eliminated to create accountability and expose malign behavior. Ever year countries are losing billions of dollars to illegal fishing, illicit activities, and destruction of their natural resources by foreign governments.

By leveraging private industry to provide outcomes as a service, sovereign nation’s bolster EEZ awareness through fully integrated sensor packages. Since a private business would only be focused on collecting and analyzing essential ocean variables and not bound by government procurement and acquisition processes, private industry provides a more cost-effective approach.

Private industry takes advantage of economies of scale by providing similar services to multiple sovereign nations, while maximizing the use of high-priced resources (satellites, large autonomous underwater vehicles, sensors, etc.) and training of operators and maintainers.

Private industry is better equipped to verify Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, identify vessels not previously known, and provide additional information. Through integrated and networked platforms, private industry can enhance shared situational awareness and rapidly tie into existing government systems or new sensor technologies.

Through developed information assurance capabilities and a common Information Technology architecture, Private industry can provide tailored insights for decisionmakers, and this this us one of our areas of expertise here at Laconic.

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