BIMCO President Rages Over Kidnapping and Murder of Seafarers

Friday, April 15, 2011

A highly audible protest from the shipping industry against piracy – with a 30-second blast from ships’ sirens every day at noon, in every port in the world – has been recommended to draw public attention to the criminals who are now menacing world trade, and who are holding nearly 800 seafarers captive. 

Delivering the keynote address at this week’s Singapore conference of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP), BIMCO President Robert Lorenz-Meyer suggested that such a protest was necessary to remind governments of the urgency of measures to deal with the piracy problem. Attacks  on merchant vessels by Somali pirates, said the BIMCO President are “about to cut the sealanes in and out of the Persian Gulf and attacking a service “on which the world depends for economic stability and growth”.

Mr Lorenz-Meyer praised the work of the multi-national naval force protecting merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, in particular noting the “brilliant examples” set by some of the Asian warships in successfully confronting the pirates’ use of captured vessels as “motherships”. He contrasted the work done by some of the states involved in the action against pirates and their robust work to free ships and captive seafarers with the “silk gloves” worn by others in dealing with the menace.

BIMCO, which had been involved with the problems of modern piracy since it emerged as a problem in the 1990s, has maintained that unless there are serious consequences for the criminals, they will continue to attack merchant shipping. The President pointed out that not all states have ratified UNCLOS or the SUA conventions, while some states which have ratified these international documents do not yet have national legislation in place enabling their enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute pirates. He welcomed the harsh sentences of 20 or 30 years being meted out in the courts of Kenya and the Seychelles for those convicted.

Governments of the world, said Mr Lorenz-Meyer “must get their act together” on piracy and establish a comprehensive strategy to deal with the problem. Such action “must aim to reverse the malicious will of the pirates, rather than pretend to reduce their capability”. It must, he said, fundamentally change the the risk/reward ratio currently in favour of the pirates and offer them alternative livelihoods. Such matters, he emphasised, were the clear responsibility of governments, and the “explicit and strong commitment of governments” is essential if there is to be any lasting solution to the problem.

In the BIMCO President’s address, he underlined the urgency of the situation, with the criminals effectively now menacing global trade and traumatising a large number of innocent seafarers, with trade unions now calling for a boycott of the affected areas. “We are dangerously close to a turning point for the freedom of navigation on vital trade routes” , he said.

He reminded his audience that “engagement, dialogue and multinational co-operation” had solved the piracy problem in the Malacca and Singapore Straits, and while the Somali situation was not exactly the same, this cannot, he said, be used as an excuse for a continuation of the current inadequate approach. The shipping industry needed to bring its concern about the piracy menace to a wider public, much of which was yet to be appraised about its seriousness. A loud noise of protest, as masters sounded their sirens in port each day could symbolise this growing impatience.

The action will support the SOS Save Our Seafarers campaign launched by BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Shipping Federation (ISF), Intercargo, INTERTANKO and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). The SOS campaign aims at encouraging millions of people around the world to heap pressure on their national Governments to crack down on piracy by visiting www.saveourseafarers.com and signing an on-line petition.

At the Singapore meeting, PREVENT PIRACY – a poster designed as a joint project by the ReCAAP ISC and BIMCO was launched by Mr Yoshida Endo, Executive Director of the regional body and Mr Torben Skaanild, Secretary-General of BIMCO. The poster is recommended for use aboard ships to serve as a check-list for seafarers whose ships may be transiting pirate-infested waters, reminding them to “be prepared”.

Source: BIMCO

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Security

Canadian Navy Frigate Refit Program Completed

Seaspan joined Harjit S. Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defense, at an official ceremony today to celebrate the completion of the Halifax-Class Modernization/Frigate

Drug Interception at Red Hook Container Terminal

Approximately 121 pounds of heroin and eight pounds of cocaine were discovered in a shipping container of vegetables that was moving from Ecuador to Miami, Fla.

How France Sank Japan's Sub Dream

Ousting of Japan ally PM Abbott opened door to rivals; Tokyo slow to respond to new competitive process. In 2014, a blossoming friendship between Australian

Maritime Safety

Italian Ship Rescues 26 Migrants off Libya

An Italian merchant ship rescued 26 migrants off the coast of Libya in rough seas and others were feared missing, the Coast Guard said on Saturday. The Coast

ACR to Debut Pathfinder PRO SART at OTC

An important addition to any commercial vessel’s survival gear kit, the Pathfinder PRO SART is introduced by ACR Electronics, Inc. at this year’s OTC. The new search

Panama Canal Dismisses ITF Claims

The Panama Canal has dismisses claims by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) that questions industry standards and the operation of the Expanded Panama Canal’s new locks.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2002 sec (5 req/sec)