Safe Seas is a pilot project that studies lessons from maritime security capacity building in the Western Indian Ocean.The objective is to develop key guidelines and best practices for the coordination, programming and implementation of maritime security capacity building and maritime security sector reform. The project compares the ongoing efforts to restructure the maritime security sector in four countries (Djibouti, Kenya, Seychelles, and Somalia). Although maritime capacity building has been done in limited forms for decades by international navies and the International Maritime Organization, it is generally considered as a new field of international activity. The project has four aims: to increase our understanding of challenges and effects of Maritime Security Sector Reform; to transfer lessons from other fields of capacity building to the maritime; to develop a methodology for mapping national maritime security sectors; to identify best practices, gaps and shortcomings in the delivery of capacity building. Safe Seas is funded by the British Academy and part of the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund initiative to strengthen development through research. The project is a collaboration between Cardiff University and the University of Bristol. It is implemented in collaboration with the University of Seychelles, the University of Nairobi and the University of Stellenbosch and a range of capacity building organizations.