Skip to content

Security of shipping in the Mediterranean and Middle East

A member has forwarded the following from the NATO website:

Anti-terrorism measures – issued by the NATO Shipping Centre on 5 March

“At present there is no intelligence of an immediate terrorist threat. In a press release (AP 03 Mar) it is announced that NATO intends to extend the anti-terrorist maritime patrols, surveillance and monitoring in the Mediterranean Seas (‘Operation Active Endeavour’) to cover the whole of the Med including the Straits of Gibraltar. As boarding of suspect merchant ships has now been authorised for all patrolling forces the operation can become more effective

NATO escorts shipping in Gibraltar

“This week NATO warships have taken on a new mission to escort Allied civilian ships through the Straits of Gibraltar. The Alliance decided to expand its naval operations in response to recent assessments of terrorist threats to particular shipping lanes. This new mission is part of NATO’s continuing support for the campaign against terrorism, and is a significant extension of the existing Operation Active Endeavour, which was launched following the September 11 attacks on the United States.

“Under Operation Active Endeavour, NATO air and naval forces have been carrying out patrolling and surveillance activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. Apart from demonstrating NATO’s resolve in the face of terrorist threats, Operation Active Endeavour has already played a significant role in enhancing security in the Eastern Mediterranean. This new mission will help further safeguard the ships of NATO’s nations against the threat of terrorism.

“News and information will routinely be posted on the NATO website: and the AFSOUTH website:”

Members whose operations involve shipping in the Mediterranean should also be aware of the NATO Shipping Centre website, which contains details for ships intending to transit the Suez Canal – – including details on reporting shipping details, encouraging co-operation with NATO anti-terrorism measures in this area.

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

IMCA’s store terms and conditions ( apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.

IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.