ICS Reports on Lessons from Somali Piracy

Posted by Michelle Howard
Monday, January 13, 2014
Peter Hinchliffe

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), a global trade association for shipowners, has issued a paper drawing upon the international shipping industry’s experience of Somali-based piracy during the period 2007 to 2013.

“The intention is to identify lessons learned in order to shape future policy responses, wherever in the world they might be needed,” explained ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.

The ICS paper has been submitted to the International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (which was established in response to a United Nations Security Council Resolution) and by all accounts the ICS paper has been well received by governments.

ICS has produced its paper following a dramatic reduction in the number of successful attacks against ships by Somali pirates, currently at a five-year low thanks to the combined success of sustained compliance with industry Best Management Practices (BMP), the use of private maritime security companies, the activity of military assets and new capacity building initiatives ashore.

Despite this, it remains the case that the pirates are active and retain the capacity to attack far into the Indian Ocean. ICS therefore continues to emphasize that it is premature to conclude that the crisis is over, with seafarers still held hostage in Somalia, some of whom have now been in captivity for three years.

In 2013, there were at least 13 reported incidents involving Somali pirates including two hijackings. ICS stresses that adherence to the industry’s latest Best Management Practices (BMP 4) and, where necessary, the deployment of private armed guards, continue to be vital self-protective measures. The maintenance of current levels of military protection provided by a global coalition of governments in the Indian Ocean is also considered to be vital.

The ICS paper explains the significant challenges the shipping industry has faced in responding to the crisis in the Indian Ocean, which escalated dramatically in 2007.

This included getting the initial attention of governments and making them appreciate the scale of the crisis that was making a vast and strategically vital area of the Indian Ocean, including major trade lanes, a virtual ‘no go’ area to merchant shipping.

It also involved raising awareness in the mainstream news media, and then seeking to maintain this throughout the course of the crisis.

The ICS paper also highlights the importance of clarifying the rights and obligations of sovereign nations to address piracy (which were complicated by the breakdown of Somalia as a functioning State) and of the need to engage with military authorities and to persuade them that the prevention of piracy/hostage taking has a most important strategic and humanitarian function that should not be dismissed as mere ‘low level’ law enforcement.

“It was particularly important to foster an understanding that protection against pirate attacks was a shared responsibility in which both the military and the industry have to play their parts,” said Peter Hinchliffe.

The ICS paper also explores the challenges of:

  •  Developing and disseminating appropriate and acceptable Best Management Practice (BMP) recommendations on preventative measures to be taken by shipping companies, ships and crews;
  •  Maintaining constant pressure on shipping companies and ships to sustain BMP compliance at the highest possible level;
  •  Responding to the legal and practical challenges associated with the capture and prosecution of piracy suspects;
  •  Responding to the legal and practical challenges created by the employment of private armed guards;
  •  Responding to the humanitarian challenge of thousands of seafarers left traumatized by the experience of being held hostage for several months (years in some cases) prior to release;
  •  Addressing the legal and moral dilemma created by the necessity for shipping companies and their insurers to make ransom payments;
  •  Addressing the challenges of promoting capacity building ashore and the reconstruction of civil society; and
  •  Seeking to address the crisis in an appropriate but proportionate manner that recognized it was likely to continue for several years while avoiding a situation in which the threat presented by pirates was regarded as ‘normal’ or that some of the necessarily extreme measures adopted, such as the use of armed guards, did not become institutionalized.


ICS hopes that all stakeholders in counter-piracy operations — whether political, military, shipping and security industries or media —will bear in mind the lessons identified in dealing with the issue of piracy in the Indian Ocean. ICS believes the core lesson of responding to criminality robustly and without delay will be more easily delivered in the future if these basic lessons are kept readily to hand.
 

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Hapag-Lloyd, CSAV Merger Finalized

Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV binding agreement signed / In return for contributing its container business, CSAV becomes new core shareholder of Hapag-Lloyd / Hapag-Lloyd

MAS Debuts Exclusive Armor Systems

Following on from the continued success of the product, Marine Armor System (MAS) announced its global launch and updated website. MAS is a nonlethal vessel

All Items Approved at Stolt-Nielsen Meeting

Stolt-Nielsen Limited announced that all agenda items were approved and all nominated directors were elected at its Annual General Meeting of shareholders held yesterday in Bermuda.

Legal

Litigation Can Cost Shipbrokers an Arm & a Leg

A survey of London solicitors by specialist intermediaries insurer ITIC has highlighted the high cost of litigation for shipbrokers and others seeking judgment in the English courts,

Attestation / Endorsement services for seaman in UAE

The Maritime Administration of the United Arab Emirates has introduced services for the attestation of seaman contract and issuance of oil/chemical/gas tanker endorsement.

Concordia Captain Tried to Blame Wreck on Electrical Blackout

The captain of the Costa Concordia tried to persuade the crisis coordinator of the cruise line to pretend an electrical blackout had caused the shipwreck, a court was told on Monday.

Offshore

USCG: Deepwater Horizon Response is Far from Complete

The U.S. Coast Guard federal on-scene coordinator (FOSC) for the Deepwater Horizon Response completed the transition to the “Middle Response” (“Middle R”) process

Three European firms win Angola deepwater deals

Three European companies have won contracts for almost half the value of Angola's $16 billion ultra-deepwater Kaombo oil project, confirming a trend toward bigger

GoM Drill Rig Damaged, Coast Guard Monitoring

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is overseeing response efforts, as the offshore drilling rig ENSCO 8506 began taking sea-water into a ballast tank after being hit by

Navy

Australian Navy Assists French Fishing Vessel

While patrolling in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Darwin provided emergency medical assistance for a heart attack victim on a French fishing vessel.

Search Resumes in S. Korean Ferry Disaster

Poor weather conditions may hamper effort; Mystery surrounds capsize of ship; Nearly 280 people still missing, many of them teenagers South Korean coastguards

JFD Awarded Australian Navy Commendation

Commendation awarded by the Royal Australian Navy for dedicated work, commitment and support for Exercise Black Carillon 2013   James Fisher Defence (JFD) has

Maritime Security

MAS Debuts Exclusive Armor Systems

Following on from the continued success of the product, Marine Armor System (MAS) announced its global launch and updated website. MAS is a nonlethal vessel

GoM Drill Rig Damaged, Coast Guard Monitoring

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is overseeing response efforts, as the offshore drilling rig ENSCO 8506 began taking sea-water into a ballast tank after being hit by

China denies naval snub for Japan over fleet review

China's navy on Tuesday denied, in a roundabout way, that it snubbed Japan by not inviting it to join in a naval fleet review as part of an international symposium,

Coast Guard

Search Resumes in S. Korean Ferry Disaster

Poor weather conditions may hamper effort; Mystery surrounds capsize of ship; Nearly 280 people still missing, many of them teenagers South Korean coastguards

Update: Spill Response Continues in Miami

U.S. Coast Guard crewmembers are responding to a fuel spill in the vicinity of Government Cut in Miami Wednesday, following a leak discovered aboard the 95-foot tug Neptune Tuesday night.

Collision, Grounding and Anchor Draggings in Chesapeake Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with local response agencies and the Virginia and Maryland Pilots Tuesday after receiving a report of a collision between two ships

Maritime Safety

Hundreds Unaccounted for in S.Korea Ferry Disaster

For the parents of the many teenagers still missing after the Sewol ferry capsized off the coast of South Korea, the wait for news - good or bad - is almost unbearable.

JFD Awarded Australian Navy Commendation

Commendation awarded by the Royal Australian Navy for dedicated work, commitment and support for Exercise Black Carillon 2013   James Fisher Defence (JFD) has

Collision, Grounding and Anchor Draggings in Chesapeake Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with local response agencies and the Virginia and Maryland Pilots Tuesday after receiving a report of a collision between two ships

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Sonar
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: 0.2988 sec (3 req/sec)