Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is widely used in ship surveillance. High-Resolution Wide-Swath (HRWS) SAR data are simultaneously collected, which introduces challenges and offers new research opportunities. SAR-based ship-surveillance technologies and the performance requirements of SAR systems are reviewed and summarized. Furthermore, the characteristics of HRWS SAR imaging and ship surveillance technologies are considered in tandem, and preliminary research results on ship detection, feature extraction, and classification are discussed. Finally, we point out issues to be addressed in future work.