This article examines maritime law enforcement operations and intelligence activities in the context of maritime security. First describing the role of navies and coast guards in maritime security, this article then explores the relationship between law enforcement operations and actionable intelligence. In particular, it focuses on maritime domain awareness (MDA), and how MDA functions as a form of intelligence. Next, the article discusses maritime domain awareness under international law before looking to the tension between intelligence collection and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations, both on the high seas and in waters under national jurisdiction. The article closes by delving into practical measures and then concluding.