Competition over maritime resources and territorial disputes over maritime borders highlight the tensions between national sovereignty and transnational challenges in the maritime domain. While often ignored in coverage of international affairs, it features prominently in bilateral, regional and multilateral diplomacy.
When major energy reserves were discovered off Senegal’s northern coastline in 2015, many hailed it as great news for a country where more than half the population lives below the poverty line. But with the reserves due to come online this year, the situation is more complicated than when celebrations broke out almost eight years ago.
Last month, a U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessel off the coast of Ecuador was forced to take evasive action when a Chinese fishing boat tried to ram it to avoid being boarded and inspected. The incident highlights the growing risk for conflict over fishing rights amid heightened geopolitical rivalry on the world’s oceans.