Annapolis, Maryland - Delegates from more than 40 countries across Africa, Europe and the Americas attended the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Security Dialogue 2015 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

The theme of this year's event was "Collaborative Solutions to Common Challenges: Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea."

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus was the keynote speaker.

"Together we can do this and if we do it right future generations will enjoy the benefits of a safe and prosperous Gulf of Guinea," said Mabus.

Mabus said he has been looking forward to this event for a long time.

"I am fully confident that this dialogue will serve as a robust venue for the international community to address capacity building and cooperation for this vital region's maritime sector."

The Gulf of Guinea Maritime Security Dialogue 2015 is a unique opportunity to allow for candid discussions between many of the world's naval leaders, and will expand upon the U.S. Navy's initiatives.

There were five panel discussions over the course of the 3-day event covering topics such as piracy, maritime strategies and collective security approaches.

The goal of the panel discussions was to stimulate discussion between the Heads of Navy and draw on their combined experience and perspectives.

Vice Adm. James Foggo, Commander, 6th Fleet, was the moderator for the panel discussion on regional integrated maritime strategies.

"The African Coastline stretches over 26,000 miles. Over 90 percent of African imports and exports travel by sea," said Foggo. "With fishing providing a vital contribution to the nutritional security of over 200 million Africans and income for over 10 million, it is clear why maritime security is of the utmost importance for the Gulf of Guinea."

Attendees agreed that through continued dialogue and discussion, the Gulf of Guinea can become a model for cooperation and progress.