Marine Link
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Piracy News

Maritime Piracy Activity is at a 22-year Low -Report

In March 2017 fuel tanker Aris 13 was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Somalia (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

Global maritime piracy activity fell to its lowest level in over two decades, according to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report. The 180 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) IMB in 2017 was the lowest annual number since 1995, when 188 incidents were reported. According to the IMB, pirates boarded 136 vessels in 2017, while 22 attacks were attempted, 16 vessels fired upon and six vessels hijacked.

Pirates Release Tanker and Crew in Gulf of Guinea

MT Barrett (Photo: Union Maritime)

Product tanker MT Barrett has been released and all crew are safe following a six-day piracy incident in the Gulf of Guinea, U.K. based Union Maritime has confirmed. Union Maritime said it lost communications with its 11,999-dwt product tanker while the vessel was at anchor off Benin, West Africa on the morning of January 10, after which the company immediately implemented its emergency response plan and alerted regional maritime authorities and other vessels. A resolution process began when the pirates holding the MT Barrett made contact with the Union Maritime late on January 12.

Japanese FM Visits Colombo Port

SLPA Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake presenting a token of goodwill to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Taro Kono while also seen are Ambassador of Japan Kenichi Suganuma and SLPA Vice Chairman P.G. Dasanayake. Photo: Sri Lanka Ports Authority

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has visited the port of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Kono was briefed by Sri Lankan government officials about a project under consideration to expand the port. The Japanese Foreign Minister  also visited the newly built control tower and the Colombo Port Expansion Project currently known as the Colombo south Port. Colombo is the largest port in Sri Lanka, which is a strategically important point in Indian Ocean sea lanes. Taro Kono was briefed by the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Dr.

Transas Adds Piracy Information Overlay

Image courtesy Transas Marine

Transas Marine has added a Piracy Information Overlay (PIO) to its Navigation product portfolio. The piracy overlay is integrated into the Transas FleetView Online SSAS-tracking software and Navi-Planner 4000 voyage planning software. The piracy data is provided by Bergen Risk Solutions and is based on intelligence from several recognized and authoritative sources on sea piracy. The service allows users to overlay piracy information onto existing data and provides them with up to date information, essential for planning avoidance measures when transiting a potential piracy area.

Tracking Global Piracy Trends

Graph: Clarkson Research Services

Piracy has existed since the conception of shipping, and pirate attacks on vessels continue to disrupt trade, raising vessel security concerns and impacting the operation and insurance costs for ships, says Clarkson Research Services. The drivers behind piracy are wide but primarily economic and clearly, geography is also key. This month, we take a closer look at recent shifts in the regional distribution of piracy ‘hot spots’. Piracy remains a prevalent concern within the shipping industry, raising issues around vessel security, disrupting trade routes and increasing ship operation costs.

Somalia Anti-piracy Projects Approved by UN

The United Nations Trust Fund for the Fight against Piracy approves projects in support of anti-piracy efforts in Somalia & other affected States in the region. Other affected States in the region, include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Maldives and the Seychelles. The announcement was made in New York by United Nations Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, who chaired the Board of the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. “The dramatic decline in pirate attacks is clear evidence of years of hard work by United Nations Member States, international and regional organizations, and actors in the shipping industry,” said Mr. Zerihoun.

Beam Announces Inmarsat-Based Piracy Solution

Beam Communications Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of World Reach Limited (ASX: WRR), announces a new satellite piracy solution for secure communication on board a vessel. The new system operates with the Inmarsat satellite network. Beam’s new Oceana 800 Covert Piracy Solution provides a dedicated system for a safe room or citadel on board a vessel. The system ensures that, in the event of a piracy attack, essential communications on board the vessel can be maintained and used for alerting authorities.

Post-Piracy Care for Seafarers

The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) has published Preliminary Guidelines: Post-Piracy Care for Seafarers, outlining preliminary strategies on caring for seafarers (merchant mariners) affected by piracy. The document, based on cutting-edge mental health research and ongoing discussions with shipowners, crewing agencies, representatives of governments, and other stakeholders in the industry, provides practical guidelines for the maritime industry. SCI presented the Preliminary Guidelines to Working Group Three of the United Nations Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia on January 27, prior to the Plenary Meeting of the Contact Group the following day.

Allianz Piracy Study

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), an insurer of ships and cargo, has released a study suggesting its clients adapt their approach to marine insurance as the threat of piracy off the Horn of Africa continues to grow. In addition, the study points out that crews entering dangerous waters must be prepared to handle an attack, and it calls for a more coordinated solution to the current wave of piracy. In a study entitled “Piracy: An ancient risk with modern faces,” AGCS suggests that special war insurance policies should be used to meet the needs of ships in high risk areas. AGCS also identifies a number of practical responses that crews can take when passing through piracy zones…

BIMCO Contributes to Piracy Status Report

Photo: Oceans Beyond Piracy

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) informs it has continued its support for the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) “The State of Maritime Piracy” report, which addresses how piracy is affecting the shipping industry – and beyond. BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, Peter Sand and Chief Maritime Security Officer, Giles Noakes provided OBP expert audit and shipping industry expertise to the report content. In addition Giles Noakes, will provide his expertise in global industry security practices during the panel of the launch event on June 10, 2015.

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.

Pirate Money Trail: Report Gives Insight, Urges Tracking

Cover of the Report: Image courtesy of the publishers

A study by the International Criminal Police Organization, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and World Bank attempts to understand the illicit financial flows from pirate activities off the Horn of Africa. The study focused on: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, and Somalia. It is estimated that  more than  US$400 million was claimed in ransoms for pirate acts between April 2005 and December 2012 and  179 ships were hijacked off the coast of Somalia and the Horn of Africa during that time.

MPHRP Security Training Held in India

The participants of the Chennai training session with Chirag Bahri, MPHRP Regional Director for South Asia, far right.

Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Program (MPHRP) South Asia organized three Seafarers Pre-Departure Piracy Awareness Train the Trainers sessions in India between October 16-23, 2013. The training was delivered by Toon van de Sande (MPHRP), Cyrus Mody (IMB) and Chirag Bahri (MPHRP), held in at the Seafarers Club, Chennai on 16-17 Oct, AEMTC Mumbai on 19-20 Oct and at Hotel Mantra Amaltas, New Delhi on October 22-23. Participants from maritime training institutes and other training consultants attended the two-day MPHRP sessions.

Piracy Violence Continues Against Seafarers

The family of Ashphalt 2’s third engineer, seafarers and friends gather around the coffin (Photo: MPHRP)

The MPHRP highlights the hardship inflicted upon seafarers and families. Responding to recent reports on current levels of international maritime piracy, the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Program (MPHRP) noted the trend that they appear to avoid the word "piracy" in favor of new forms of criminality, specifically "attacks" and "hijacking". The technical differences denoted by these terms aside, MPHRP said a basic truth is veiled: that violent crime is committed against seafarers.

Seafarers’ Trust Calls for Renewed Support for Expiring Piracy Response Program

The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Progamme (MPHRP) was launched during the height of maritime piracy to provide humanitarian support to the victims of piracy and their families. The programme received funding from several groups, funding which is set to expire at the end of March. The ITF's (International Transport Workers' Federation) Seafarers' Trust, one of the programme's core sponsors, has pledged to continue funding in a statement released today, but has called for the MPHRP to become part of an existing charity by the end of 2015, citing ISWAN as an example of an optimum home for the programme. Trust funding enabled the MPHRP to make a significant contribution to the welfare support of seafarers…

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.

SOS: Laments Somalia Findings Ignore Seafarer Hardships

SOS SaveOurSeafarers welcomes piracy conclusions of Somalia Conference but disappointed that seafarers not mentioned. SOS SaveOurSeafarers welcomes the London Conference on Somalia which was attended by 55 delegations from Somalia and the international community, and willingly supports its focus on unifying the international community in its coordinated support to Somalia, in the hope that a new era of Somali politics, supported by the international community, will bring peace to Somalia. SOS thanks the UK Prime Minister for urging delegates to “keep up the pressure on pirates”.

IMSN Earns DNV Certification for Anti-Piracy Course

Dania Beach, FL (April 21, 2011) – International Maritime Security Network (IMSN) has become the first maritime security training center to offer an eLearning-based Anti-Piracy Defense Course certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a worldwide leading certification body offering the latest in management systems certification services, under its SeaSkill™ standard for maritime learning programs. The announcement was made by Captain Timothy D. Nease (ret.), co-founder and CEO of IMSN, at the Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) in Dania Beach, Fla.

New Counter-Piracy Task Force

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) established Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) Jan. 8 specifically for counter-piracy operations. Naval ships and assets from more than 20 nations comprise the Combined Maritime Forces. U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Terence "Terry" McKnight has been named the commander of the new task force which will be fully operational by the middle of January. The CMF created the Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) in the Gulf of Aden in August of 2008 to support international efforts to combat piracy.

EU NAVFOR Transports Pirate Suspects for Prosecution

Five men apprehended by FS Siroco are transferred to the Seychelles police with the aim to prosecute them for acts of piracy.

Suspect Pirates Apprehended by EU Naval Force Flagship Transferred To The Seychelles. On 29 January 2014, international collaboration in the fight against piracy resulted in the transfer of five men by the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta flagship, FS Siroco, to the Republic of Seychelles, with the aim of prosecuting them for acts of piracy. On Saturday 18 January, FS Siroco, in cooperation with Japanese assets in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF/CTF 151)…

Dubai to Host Counter-piracy Conference

Opening speaker: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs: Photo credit ADPC

The United Arab Emirates, in a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, global marine terminal operator DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports Company, will convene a third high-level, public-private counter piracy conference, in Dubai, on 11-12 September 2013. The conference is by invitation only.

DOS – CGPCS Meeting Re Somali Piracy

The Department of State (DOS) issued a news release stating that the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) met in New York on May 1. Participants agreed that while piracy has been reduced dramatically through the concerted efforts of the international community and the Somali people themselves, this positive trend is inherently reversible because the fundamental conditions that permit piracy have not changed. The CGPCS committed to continuing its work to eliminate piracy emanating from Somalia, including by enabling the Federal Government of Somalia to lead an effective and sustainable response to piracy both ashore and at sea, and dealing effectively with such criminal activity by its citizens. (5/1/13). www.brymar-consulting.com  

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.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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