U.K. maritime intelligence provider, Dryad Maritime issued their latest report, “Special Advisory, The West Africa Problem; Mission Not Impossible,” which focuses on the rapidly evolving nature of maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea.
The report provides a detailed insight into the main types of criminal activity in the area and provides practical advice on how these threats can be mitigated. It contrasts the character of crime in the Gulf of Guinea region with the more widely reported Somali piracy problem, detailing the character of the threat and the environment within which it exists.
The report argues that, whilst maritime crime is not a new regional phenomenon, the threats are very real and diverse. Individual crime types, from opportunist robbery to kidnap and cargo theft, are explored, alongside practical advice on how to combat them. The practical difficulties of certain types of risk mitigation in the region, particularly armed guards, are also detailed.
The analysis demonstrates how the difficulties emerge from a mix of the complex territorial environment, the limitations of regional capability and cooperation and the lack of an analogous international contribution, such as the one ranged against the Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. Acknowledging that there is no ‘quick fix’ to the problem, the Special Advisory aims to enhance the maritime domain awareness of all those who operate vessels in the region, helping them to reduce the risks to their crews.
Karen Jacques, Dryad Maritime’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “The levels of crime in this area vary hugely from petty and opportunistic crime, right up to some of the most violent crime perpetrated against mariners anywhere in the world. The situation in the Gulf of Guinea is significantly different from that encountered in the Indian Ocean and the solutions are not necessarily transferable.”
Ian Millen, Dryad Maritime’s Director of Intelligence, said, “Dryad’s West Africa Special Advisory has been prepared to provide maritime operators with the latest intelligence on the region, equipping them with the information they need to plan transits and assess risks accurately. We have extensive experience in this region and have gathered intelligence from numerous sources to produce this comprehensive overview of maritime crime in West Africa. It provides clear guidance on the threats, enabling Masters, crews and vessel operators to implement new plans and procedures to help reduce risk.”
The publication of the report coincides with Dryad’s presence at London International Shipping Week, where Dryad will be on hand to talk to visitors and provide specialist advice and services to assist seafarers in mitigating the risk of maritime crime.
Providing detailed insight into the ongoing threat of piracy to target commercial vessels, this Special Advisory report is essential reading for Shipowners, Managers and Charterers operating in areas spanning the Gulf of Guinea.
Free copies of the report can be downloaded at Dryad Maritime’s website.