pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Focus Areas

Maritime Security

The Indo-Pacific is a maritime region. From the Sea of Japan to the South China Sea, the maritime realm is central to the economic, political, and security affairs of the region. In recent years, Asia’s maritime spaces have become arenas of geopolitical competition and for displays of national ambitions. As maritime challenges abound–from offshore territorial disputes and overlapping entitlement claims to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing–greater rule of law and more cooperation are imperative.


To corral greater awareness and understanding of these issues, and to advance a free, open, and rules-based maritime order, the Pacific Forum has been regularly convening the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Expert Working Group since 2019 and has organized a virtual Maritime Discussion Series in 2020-2021. Pacific Forum is also active in track 1.5/2 maritime security dialogues in the region, mainly through its participation in the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP). Many of the bilateral and multilateral dialogues we sponsor and organize have maritime-related panels that seek to highlight actionable, pragmatic, and data-driven recommendations for littoral states to pursue as they navigate complex geopolitical, economic, and security issues. Pacific Forum also regularly publishes analyses and research papers related to maritime security in the region. Among them is volume 21, SR21 of Issues & Insights, on “Advancing a Rules-based Maritime Order in the Indo-Pacific,” co-edited by Jeffrey Ordaniel and John Bradford, and authored by some of the region’s most respected experts on maritime law and policy.

Recent Publications




Asia Maritime Index (TIU)

Furthering research on global maritime regimes, regional legal and quasi-legal instruments, cooperative mechanisms, and domestic policies to understand what is driving maritime tensions and highlight actionable and pragmatic policy solutions.