MISNA was founded in 1995 with the purpose of bringing together non-profit organizations in North America that shared the same objectives of providing information, communications, and services to aid safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally sound maritime operations.
The term “Marine Exchange” refers to the role MISNA member organizations have fulfilled for many years, which includes exchanging maritime information with ports, vessels, cargo handlers, and others making up the maritime community.
In the 19th century Marine Exchange organizations were established in several ports serving as ship spotters, stationed on bluffs with telescopes who alerted the port community of approaching vessels. While initially their mission was focused on facilitating efficient maritime trade, their role expanded over the years to aid maritime safety and environmental protection.
Today, marine exchanges utilize AIS, VHF radios, and the internet to disseminate information and improve communications between ports, vessel owners, and mariners.