Western Indian Ocean News

15 Feb 2019

Kenya Trains Maritime Security Officials

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Maritime law enforcement officials from Kenya are taking part in a two week training course on best practices for visit, board, search and seizure of vessels, in Mombasa, Kenya (11-22 February).The multi-agency course brings together 30 officials to learn skills for effective coordination in combating maritime crimes and procedures used to successfully board and search a vessel of interest.The training is part of International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s support for implementing the Jeddah Amendment to Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017…

06 Feb 2019

Focus on African Maritime Development

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

As part of its continuing efforts to help African countries improve the sustainability of their maritime sectors and their blue economies, International Maritime Organization (IMO) frequently works with partners to help support their initiatives.This work includes participating in two major annual maritime security exercises in Africa, the first of which, Cutlass Express, is currently underway in Djibouti, Mozambique and the Seychelles (25 January – 7 February).Cutlass Express puts special emphasis on encouraging navies and civilian agencies and different countries to work together…

02 Jan 2019

USS Chung-Hoon Seizes Drugs in Gulf of Aden

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) seized 11,000 pounds of illicit drugs aboard a stateless vessel while conducting maritime security operations in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) interdicted a shipment of narcotics aboard a stateless vessel while conducting maritime security operations in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden, Dec. 27.Chung-Hoon’s visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team seized over 11,000 pounds of hashish while conducting a flag verification boarding.“We have been conducting maritime security operations along suspected maritime smuggling routes in order to interdict illicit shipments into Yemen and Somalia,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Brent Jackson, commanding officer of Chung-Hoon.

31 Dec 2018

Chung-Hoon Seizes Drugs in Gulf of Aden

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) seized 11,000 pounds of illicit drugs aboard a stateless vessel while conducting maritime security operations in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden. Chung-Hoon is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy/Relea

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) interdicted a shipment of narcotics aboard a stateless vessel while conducting maritime security operations in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden, Dec. 27.Chung-Hoon’s visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team seized over 11,000 pounds of hashish while conducting a flag verification boarding.“We have been conducting maritime security operations along suspected maritime smuggling routes in order to interdict illicit shipments into Yemen and Somalia,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Brent Jackson, commanding officer of Chung-Hoon.

07 Dec 2018

Oman Signs Djibouti Code of Conduct

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Oman has become the 16th signatory to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region.Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen…

13 Nov 2018

East Africa, Western Indian Ocean Strengthen Oil Spill Response

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

A training event on oil spill preparedness and response for countries in eastern Africa, was held in Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania (6-9 November).The  relevant government agency representatives with responsibilities in spill response in the countries like Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, and Uganda have participated in the training."In the event of a marine oil spill, relevant government agencies in the affected region need to manage and coordinate a response…

30 Oct 2018

Pirate Whaler Seized and Destroyed

Photo: EU NAVFOR

EU NAVFOR military personnel seized an active Pirate Action Group (PAG) whaler and destroyed it on Sunday, October 28, 2018This followed a sustained period of surveillance after a piracy attack was conducted against the Hong Kong-flagged Bulk Carrier KSL Sydney on October 16, 340 Nm off the coast of Somalia.Rear Admiral Alfonso Perez de Nanclares, the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, ordered counter-piracy forces to the area for further investigation. EU NAVFOR Spanish Maritime Patrol…

07 Sep 2018

US Navy Seizes Thousands of AK-47s in the Gulf of Aden

A visit, board, search and seizure team from the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) inspects a skiff found to be carrying a shipment of over 1,000 illicit weapons. (U.S. Navy photo by Matt Bodenner)

More than 2,500 AK-47 automatic rifles were seized from a stateless skiff in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden at the end of August.U.S. Navy sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) discovered the illicit weapons shipment during counter-trafficking mission on August 28.The Navy said 2,521 guns were confiscated from the skiff, which was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding conducted in accordance with international law.

31 Jul 2018

EU Okays Operation Atalanta HQ Move to Spain

Photo: EU NAVFOR Somalia

The headquarters of the EU’s anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia will be moved from the UK to Spain next year as EU leaders revealed the latest consequence of Brexit."EU NAVFOR confirms that following the decision from the Council of the European Union the mandate of Operation ATALANTA will continue until 31 December 2020," said a press release. EU NAVFOR Somalia, also known as Operation Atalanta, is a current counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean…

26 Jul 2018

Mauritius Signs Jeddah Amendment on Illicit Maritime Activity

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Mauritius has become the 15th signatory to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region.The Amendment significantly broadened the scope of the Djibouti Code when it was adopted at a high-level meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in January 2017.It covers measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities…

03 Jul 2018

USS Jason Dunham and Egyptian Navy Conduct PASSEX

Photo: United States Navy

The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) and the Egyptian Navy frigate El Zafer (F951) conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX), July 1. PASSEX is an exercise in which multiple ships, operating in close vicinity, practice evolutions together to improve crews' knowledge, navigation and familiarity with operability. "This was another great opportunity to work with the Egyptian Navy and continue to build, foster and solidify rapport with a maritime-military nation who shares a lot of the same interests in this area of operations," said Cmdr. John Hamilton, Dunham's commanding officer.

11 May 2018

Jeddah Mulls Safe and Secure Regional Waters

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Signatory States to an agreement aimed at repressing piracy, armed robbery and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area have agreed that building response capability and information sharing are vital steps towards achieving a more safe and secure maritime environment. The signatories to the revised Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area…

13 Jan 2017

Maritime Piracy Agreement broadened to cover Illicit Activity

​IMO has organized and funded exercises dealing with transnational organized crimes at sea, for maritime law enforcement officials from Djibouti Code of Conduct signatory States Photo IMO

An international agreement that has been instrumental in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden has seen its scope significantly broadened to cover other illicit maritime activities, including human trafficking and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. A high-level meeting of signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (10 to 12 January 2017) has adopted a revised Code of Conduct, which will be known as the “Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017”.

15 Mar 2017

IMO Secretary-General Urges Vigilance after Tanker Hijack

Official photograph of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

In the wake of the recent hijacking of tanker Aris 13 off Puntland, Somalia, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim urged the shipping industry to be vigilant and apply diligently IMO guidance and best management practices to avert possible piracy attacks. “While we have seen a very welcome decline in piracy off Somalia since the last reported hijack by Somali pirates in 2012, the reality is that piracy off the coast of Somalia has not been eradicated and the underlying conditions have not changed,” Lim said.

02 May 2017

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.

05 May 2017

Training for Maritime Law Enforcement in ME

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

A three-week training course on maritime law enforcement for the Middle Eastern countries surrounding the Gulf of Aden concluded  May 4 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The course brought together specialists from 14 signatory countries* to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the IMO instrument helping to repress piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. Participants covered topics covered under the recently adopted Jeddah amendment to the Djibouti Code – such as how to suppress a range of illicit activities.

31 May 2017

Maritime Security in Western Indian Ocean

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The key International Maritime Organization (IMO) instrument helping to repress piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden – the Djibouti Code of Conduct – is part of discussions at an international conference in Morocco. The West African Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit 2017 (AFSEC 17), being held in Casablanca (30 May – 1 June) has heard IMO’s Chris Trelawny present the latest developments of the Code, which is part of IMO’s on-going maritime security work. Mr.

05 Jun 2017

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.

07 Jun 2017

Kenya Signs Maritime Piracy Agreement

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Kenya has become the 13th signatory to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region. Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen are other countries to sign it.

24 Nov 2017

Training for Port Security Staff in Guinea

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Port security officials in Guinea have undergone training on complying with International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s maritime security measures. They are being trained in how to perform their duties in line with SOLAS Chapter XI-2, the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and related guidance. The event in Conakry, Guinea (20-24 November) is being organised in conjunction with Guinea’s Maritime Authority and the Ministry of Transport. The training involves Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) and representatives of the Designated Authority (DA).

04 Dec 2017

Somalia Signs on to Combat Piracy

© mathesius / Adobe Stock

Somalia has become the latest to sign the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that seeks to repress piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in the region. Adopted in January 2017, the amendment broadened the scope of the Djibouti Code, covering measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities, including piracy, arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife…

28 Jan 2018

Navies Bust $274 million of Heroin

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion flies past HMAS Warramunga's boarding team during an operation in the Western Indian Ocean. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australian and New Zealand joint forces have seized 915 kilograms of heroin, valued in excess of $274 million, in a counter-narcotics operation in the Western Indian Ocean. HMAS Warramunga’s crew has conducted one of the largest drug seizures in Operation MANITOU’s history as part of the Australian-led Combined Task Force 150. In a joint counter-narcotics operation, the Royal Australian Navy and the New Zealand Defence Force seized 915 kilograms of heroin valued in excess of AUD$274 million.

05 Dec 2016

Eunavfor Renewal Welcomed

Photo: EUNAVFOR

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has welcomed the extension of EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta, following a decision by the EU Council, which will continue to see military forces deployed for counter piracy operations in the Western Indian Ocean until December 2018. ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe said “The presence of military forces is an essential component of the package of government actions that has helped to suppress the activities of Somali pirates, in support of the protective measures that continue to be taken by the shipping industry.

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