AbstractMaritime surveillance (MS) is an important domain for many national and international institutions, agencies, and bodies. In this context, the MS initiatives are aimed to enhance search and rescue operations, provide effective response to accidents and disasters, monitor fisheries, prevent pollution and support law enforcement and national defence. This means that it is of vital importance to generate real-time wide-area maritime operational pictures. However, many are the issues at stake. For instance, deriving mission planning tools with multiple stakeholders and achieving coverage with a wide choice of platforms (coastal, airborne and satellite) are just some of the problems. In addition, it could be required to correlate results with intelligence data and to integrate radar systems with the automatic identification system (AIS) and vessel traffic services (VTS). Other issues could be providing navigational risk detection to support operators, as well as improving resource allocation for greater efficiency and cost savings. Having access to other services, such as weather and environment information, could be precious for route planning. Additionally, timely and robust ways of sharing data and information between the authorities need to be developed with the objective of maximizing the sustainable use of oceans and seas, while enhancing the knowledge and innovation potential in maritime affairs.