Maritime Security Exchange

Building Partnerships for Security, Stability, and Prosperity

The sea never changes - it forges the life-lines of nations.*


The Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Exchange (IMSE) is produced by Navy League of the United States Honolulu Council. The enduring IMSE theme is Building Partnerships for Security, Stability and Prosperity. IMSE's purpose is to provide a forum for senior leaders, subject matter experts, and interested members of the general public to engage in dialogue about maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Each occurrence of IMSE has a specific focus.  For example, the inaugural IMSE conference in 2018 concentrated on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.  Due to the COVID pandemic, IMSE 2020 had to be cancelled.  We were to have discussed the concept of a "Free and Open Pacific" and collaboration and capacity building with a number of heads of large navies in the region.  IMSE 2021 explored Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing - why it is a big problem in the region and how it can be combatted.  Assisting in the production of IMSE 2021 were the East-West Center, the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Asia-Pacific Security Studies, and Pacific Forum.

Each year Navy League Honolulu Council draws support from one or more of the sea services (U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine) to produce IMSE.  In order to ensure a rich and diverse program, other relevant organizations (think tanks, government agencies, NGOs, industry, and academia) are invited to participate in program development and event execution.

Contact us directly if you want to be a part of this important event.


A simple definition of maritime security would list four key elements. They are freedom of navigation, unrestricted flow of commerce, the protection of ocean resources and the exclusive rights of sovereign nations in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). Nearly all of the thirty-six countries that comprise the Indo-Pacific region are maritime nations. The region contains nine of the ten busiest seaports in the world and more than half of global maritime trade transits the region.The national sovereignty and economic well-being of nations in the region are dependent on the maintenance of the rule of law and international norms on the high seas as described in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.Today this rule of law is being challenged by expansionist territorial claims in the South China Sea, harassment of foreign vessels in international waters, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Countering these threats to maritime security in the region requires the collaborative efforts of like-minded nations in the military, diplomatic, law-enforcement, and commercial arenas. IMSE will examine these efforts by featuring senior maritime leaders and subject matter experts from the region as speakers and panelists examining a broad range of topics to include the strengthening of multi-national maritime military capability, capacity building efforts that include security assistance and cooperation, law-enforcement on the high seas, and diplomatic efforts. The conference will give attendees ample opportunities for informal interaction through a number of informal networking social events to include coffee breaks, meals and receptions.