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Friday, June 22, 2018

Piracy News

MPA's Anti-piracy Meet, Workshop fosters Closer Ties

Particiapnts from Africa and Asia Photo MPA

The inaugural Meeting of Anti-Piracy Contact Points and Workshop on Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships involving participants from Africa and Asia was held in Singapore today. Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre (ISC), the two-day meeting gathered about 20 participants to foster closer linkages amongst anti-piracy contact points to enable more effective information sharing and communication.

Maritime Piracy Drops But Kidnappings Rise

Graphics:  ICC International Maritime Bureau

Sea piracy plunged to its lowest levels in 18 years in 2016, but kidnappings of crew members for ransom is escalating off west Africa and in the Sulu Seas near the Philippinessayd International Maritime Bureau (IMB). The global maritime watchdog said  in its annual report that more crew were kidnapped at sea in 2016 than in any of the previous 10 years, despite global piracy reaching its lowest levels since 1998. 191 piracy incidents were recorded worldwide, down from 246 in 2015 and the lowest level since 1998.

Somali Regional Antipiracy Chief Says Sacked over Illegal Fishing Comments

The head of anti-piracy operations in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia said he had been fired for speaking out about illegal fishing, which he claims could trigger a new outbreak of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Pirates hijacked an oil tanker off Somalia last week, the first such attack in the region since 2012 after shipping firms hired private security and international warships started patrolling nearby waters. Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, director of anti-piracy operations in Puntland, said the province's president sacked him after he told journalists that permits had been handed to illegal fishing vessels. "The problem with Puntland is that if you talk about illegal fishing, you are seen as a criminal," Dirir told Reuters.

US Sees Piracy Increase off Somalia Tied to Famine

Cargo ship MV OS-35 was recently attacked by suspected armed pirates in the Gulf of Aden (Photo: EUNAVFOR)

The United States is closely watching a recent increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. military official said on Sunday as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited an important military base in Djibouti. The rise in piracy attacks has at least partially been driven by famine and drought in the region, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa said during Mattis' visit as part of a week-long trip to the Middle East and Africa. The United States uses the base in Djibouti…

Armed Piracy in West African Waters Rise

Bulk of attacks occurred off Nigeria. Armed attacks on ships in West African waters nearly doubled in 2016, with pirates increasingly focused on kidnapping their crew for ransom off Nigeria's coast, a report said on Tuesday. A recent spate of attacks off Somalia, meanwhile, may also indicate a resurgence of piracy in East Africa as a result of less vigilance, the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) project said. OBP, a project of the privately funded One Earth Future Foundation that encourages cooperation across the international maritime community to tackle piracy, recorded 95 attacks in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea in 2016, up from 54 the previous year.

Maritime Piracy on the Rise -Report

In March fuel tanker Aris 13 was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Somalia (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

Pirates and armed robbers attacked 43 ships and captured 58 seafarers in the first quarter of 2017, slightly more than the same period last year, according to the latest ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy report. The global report highlights persisting violence in piracy hotspots off Nigeria and around the Southern Philippines – where two crew members were killed in February. Indonesia also reported frequent incidents, mostly low-level thefts from anchored vessels. In total, 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017.

Yemen War Adds to Shipping Fears in Horn of Africa

Photo: EU NAVFOR

Yemen's worsening conflict is contributing to a spike in piracy in the region, with Somali pirates taking advantage of a reduced international naval presence and more readily available weaponry to carry out attacks. "The regional instability caused by Yemen is important," Colonel Richard Cantrill, chief of staff with the European Union's counter piracy mission EU NAVFOR, told Reuters last week. Fighting between Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition has spilled over into the shipping lanes through which much of the world's oil passes.

Nigeria Invests in Boats to Fight Piracy

In 2014 the joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) maneuvers alongside the pier in Lagos, Nigeria. Spearhead took part in Obangame Express, a multinational at-sea exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations in order to increase counter-piracy capabilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Weston Jones/Released)

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has assured Nigerians and the international maritime community that the Federal Government is actively working to keep the menace of piracy and other illicit crimes in check on the nation’s territorial waterways. In this case the word are backed by action and investment, as the Nigerian government has approved the procurement of three helicopters and 12 fast intervention…

Indian Navy Ship Foils Piracy Bid in Gulf of Aden

Photo:  Indian Navy

The Indian Navy ship INS Sharda on Tuesday thwarted a piracy attempt on a Liberian vessel in the Gulf of Aden, in a well-calculated operation involving marine commandos (Marcos). INS Sharda is presently on a deployment to the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy patrol. On 16 May 2017, at about 1645 hrs, the ship received a distress call from MV Lord Mountbatten, a Liberian registered ship, in position 230 nautical miles South-West of Salalah. The merchant vessel had reported an incident of attempted piracy by two suspicious mother vessels alongwith seven to eight skiffs.

Pirates Make a Comeback?

Graph: Oceans Beyond Piracy

A new report by U.S.-based One Earth Future Foundation Inc.'s Oceans Beyond Piracy program found that seafaring incidents involving kidnap for ransom jumped in 2016. Asia led the way with 125 instances of piracy, while West Africa had 95. Incidents of kidnap for ransom rose in West Africa and in Asia (in the Sulu and Celebes Seas specifically) from 2015 to 2016. 2016 saw a 57% rise in the number of seafarers affected by piracy in West Africa. The total cost of counter-piracy operations in the Western Indian Ocean has steadied out at around $1.5 billion.

Gulf of Guinea Piracy a ‘Deep Concern’ -UN Security Council

The United Nations Security Council on Monday expressed its deep concern over piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea, and stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach — led by States of the region, with international support — to address the problem and its root causes. Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2016/4, the Council strongly condemned acts of murder, kidnapping, hostage-taking and robbery by pirates in the Gulf, and underlined the importance of determining any links between piracy and armed robbery at sea, and terrorist groups in West Africa and the Sahel subregions. It encouraged regional organizations — including the African Union…

Using Tech to Fight Piracy on the Open Sea

With maritime piracy seen on the rise once again, the shipping industry now looks to redouble its efforts to prevent these dangerous and costly attacks. Though piracy had been on a steep decline since 2010 due to increased security efforts and precautions taken aboard ships, The State of Maritime Policy Report 2016 released last month by Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) finds that there has been decreased vigilance by the shipping community during the past few years, including hiring smaller private security teams and taking less security measures aboard ships. Now halfway through 2017 there have already been two hijackings including a tanker and a commercial ship, as Somali pirates resumed attacks on ships and resorted to old tactics of ransoming crew for money.

Piracy Situation Serious in Gulf of Guinea

Photo: European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA)

European shipowners are concerned about the continued piracy, armed robbery attacks and kidnapping for ransom events in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), and particularly off Nigeria. According to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy report in total 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017 worldwide. During the same period, of the 27 seafarers kidnapped for ransom, 63% were in the Gulf of Guinea. In its Global Maritime Security Conclusions adopted 19 June, the Environment Council recognised the problematic situation in the Gulf of Guinea.

India Takes Steps to Counter Piracy

Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Pon. Radhakrishnan. Photo: PIB

The Government has taken steps as part of various preventive/mitigating security measures to deal with sea-piracy, Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Pon. Radhakrishnan stated. An Inter-Ministerial Group (IMGO) has been set up by the Government under the Ministry of Shipping to deal with the hostage situation arising out of hijacking at sea of merchant vessels with Indian crew. Government had also approved the Contingency Plan for dealing with piracy…

Piracy Off the Horn of Africa

Remarks by Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, given to the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC (March 27, 2012). Thank you for inviting me here today. I want to thank the Center for American Progress [CAP] for having me here to speak on the important subject of piracy off the Horn of Africa. CAP is a tremendous leader in developing new ideas and in approaching issues in new ways. I come here before you today to talk about an issue that the Obama administration has also had to approach in new and innovative ways. Despite the romantic notions surrounding piracy of previous centuries, modern day piracy represents a new and complex threat to the international community.

MPA, ReCAAP Join in Combating Piracy

Speakers and participants of the inaugural Capacity Building Executive Programme. Photo:  Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA Japan) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), in cooperation with the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC), jointly launched the inaugural Capacity Building Executive Programme on combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia in Singapore. The Capacity Building Executive Programme—targeted at senior-level personnel with 10 to 15 years of experience and above in maritime enforcement—will see ReCAAP Contracting Parties from ASEAN (Cambodia…

Piracy Drops to 21-year low - IMB

Courtesy IMB

Piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1995, despite a surge in kidnappings off West Africa, according to a new report from the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB’s global piracy report shows 98 incidents in the first half of 2016, compared with 134 for the same period in 2015. When piracy was at its highest, in 2010 and 2003, IMB recorded 445 attacks a year. In the first half of 2016, IMB recorded 72 vessels boarded, five hijackings, and a further 12 attempted attacks. Nine ships were fired upon.

Piracy Drops to 21-year Low, IMB Reports

Graphics: International Maritime Bureau

Piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1995, despite a surge in kidnappings off West Africa, according to a new report from the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB’s global piracy report shows 98 incidents in the first half of 2016, compared with 134 for the same period in 2015. When piracy was at its highest, in 2010 and 2003, IMB recorded 445 attacks a year. In the first half of 2016, IMB recorded 72 vessels boarded, five hijackings, and a further 12 attempted attacks. Nine ships were fired upon.

Pirate Attacks Still a Major Concern -Sailors’ Society

Sailors’ Society’s CEO Stuart Rivers (Photo: Sailors' Society)

Global piracy continues to be a concern in the Gulf of Guinea, Southeast Asia and Venezuela, according to statistics released yesterday by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB). In the first nine months of 2017, 121 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported, including 92 vessels boarded with five hijackings, 11 attempted attacks and 13 vessels fired upon. While this is a decrease compared to statistics from the same period in 2016…

Piracy on the Rise in Malacca and Singapore Straits

Image: PGI’s Risk Portal

According to PGI’s Risk Portal, there were at least 81 incidents of piracy or attempted piracy in or around the Singapore and Malacca Straits between April 2015 and April 2016. The majority of these incidents have occurred on the western approach to the narrow waterway, indicative of the heightened risk of piracy in surrounding waters. The actual number of incidents is likely higher, given that many are thought to go unreported. The high-level of piracy in surrounding waters presents security considerations for travel to and from Singapore’s port.

Crew Kidnapping Persists Despite Piracy Slowdown -Report

Despite a decline of piracy activity in several high-risk areas, a high threat of crew kidnapping and hijacking remains in Southeast Asia and West Africa, according to a recent report from specialist crisis prevention and response consultancy NYA International. Overall piracy activity in the third quarter of 2016 declined in global hotspots compared to the previous quarter, as Southeast Asia and the East Africa and Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA) both saw drops in reported piracy incidents, and West Africa notably experienced a drop in severe incidents such as attacks and hijackings, according to NYA’s Q3 2016 Piracy Assessment. In West Africa, piracy activity in Q3 2016 declined in severity compared to the previous quarter, when 16 attacks and nine hijackings were reported.

India to Develop New Sea Routes and Shipping Services

India's Minister of State for Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan. Photo: Official Twitter Page

The Government proposes to develop new sea routes and shipping services connecting with various countries. These services are reviewed and restructured as per the viability study, giving due regard to the availability of cargo for a given port-pair at desired freight levels, transit time and other such considerations which impact the service schedule and profitability. New sea routes are considered with a view to enhance regional connectivity from the strategic and trade perspectives…

Piracy in Somalia Still Exists

Photo: Global Security

The threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia looms large despite significant gains made against it, says Andrew McLaughlin, the Program Officer in charge of Global Maritime Security at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He told Xinhua that in Kenyan capital Nairobi that a fragile political, economic and security situation in Somalia could provide a fertile ground for piracy to thrive. The last wave of Somalia piracy peaked in 2011 with 176 attacks. It declined to almost nothing by 2015…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2018 - Green Marine Technology

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