• 2019 June 10 17:28

    Gulf of Guinea piracy continues to threaten seafarers – industry wants action now

    Members of the shipping community, Flag States and Agencies from Gulf of Guinea gathered at the Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for a day-long symposium on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea, BIMCO says in a press release. The event, co-sponsored by BIMCO, IMCA, ICS, ITF and OCIMF, featured speakers from regional maritime agencies as well as shipping officials, academics and military staff.  The shipping industry, along with seafarer groups, organized the event to highlight the continuing danger to seafarers operating in the Gulf of Guinea.         

    In opening the symposium, Dr. Grahaeme Henderson, Chair of the UK Shipping Defence Advisory Committee and Vice President of Shell Shipping & Maritime, said “Simply put, the high level of piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea is not acceptable. Yet it is happening every day and this is not business as usual. We need to take urgent action now.”

    Concerns raised by industry were supported by figures from the International Maritime Bureau showing that the number of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea region had doubled in 2018. There has also been a marked increase towards kidnapping for ransom and armed robbery incidents. Piracy expert Professor Bertand Monnet, who has interviewed pirate gangs in the Niger Delta, estimated that there were approximately 10 groups of pirates that were responsible for the majority of attacks in the area, and they were well organized and motivated.   

    Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the Director General and CEO of the Nigerian Maritime Authority and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in his keynote address to the meeting acknowledged the maritime security risks present in the Gulf of Guinea, but stated that new initiatives underway to improve the joint capacity of Nigerian law enforcement and Navy capabilities could make seafarer kidnappings “history” within a matter of months. He went on to state that he is keen to improve international cooperation, particularly with the shipping industry. 

    According to Dr. Peterside: "We have no option but to work together, but we cannot have imposed solutions". He also stated that "NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy will also be hosting a Global Maritime Security Conference in October to seek tailored short and long term solutions to strengthen regional and international collaborations in the Gulf of Guinea."

    The forum also included an interview guided by Mr. Branko Berlan, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Representative to the IMO, with a seafarer who had been attacked and kidnapped in a recent incident. While the seafarer is still recovering from the shock of the ordeal and did not want to be identified, he stated the attack appeared to be well organized and led from ashore. “The first indication I had of the attack was a knock on my cabin door and two men holding guns appeared.” He was subsequently held in a camp on shore along with other members of his crew until his release could be secured.

    Speakers at the event emphasized the region was starting to build capacity and joint cooperation to fight maritime crime through the Yaoundé Process, which focuses on joint cooperation across the region for reporting and response.  The international community is also sponsoring long-term capacity building and partnerships.  

    However, the shipping industry, seafarer groups and Flag States are keen to identify actions that can have an immediate impact. On this note, attendees were encouraged to hear about recent Spanish Navy action to assist Equatorial Guinea to rescue seafarers from a piracy attack last month, as well as the new US program to embark law enforcement officers on regional vessels. Jakob Larsen, Head of Security for BIMCO pointed out that regional states needed to play their part as well.

    “Nigerian piracy mainly affects a small geographical area of around 150 x 150 nautical miles. The problem can be solved easily and quickly, especially if Nigeria partners with international navies. Nigeria holds the key to solving this problem,” Larsen said. 

    The symposium was held in the lead-up to a series of meetings focused on seafarer safety and security at the IMO. Concerns over increased piracy in the Gulf of Guinea have resulted in several member states submitting proposals that could help address the crisis.  

    According to Russell Pegg, Security Adviser at the Oil Companies International Marine Forum, “We are encouraging all stakeholders to take a pro-active role on this issue and are working with member states to support those proposals that could help mitigate the risks to seafarers.”   

    Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping concluded, “It is unacceptable that seafarers are being exposed to such appalling dangers and we need the authorities to take action now.”




2019 August 23

18:36 Bridge parts transported for second Theemsweg route bridge
18:06 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to East and South Africa, Indian Ocean
17:55 Onezhsky Shipyard launches TSHD Yury Maslyukov
17:36 First CLEANBU wet-dry cargo switch with significant positive environmental impact
17:20 Atomflot and Baltiysky Zavod sign agreement on construction of fourth and fifth nuclear-powered icebreakers of Project 22220
17:05 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Middle East Gulf
16:45 MPI Resolution started blade repair campaign in offshore wind farm
16:35 PIL’s fleet attains Environmental Ship Index (ESI) certification
16:05 Botlek becomes Vopak's styrene hub
15:44 First-of-a-kind floating nuclear power unit Akademik Lomonosov leaves Murmansk for Pevek
15:23 CMA CGM will not use the Northern Sea Route
15:17 Vessel powered by ABB Azipod® propulsion reaches North Pole for the first time in history
15:13 NOVATEK’s Board recommends 1H 2019 dividend
14:47 PGNiG Group posts more than PLN 22.6bn in revenue for H1 2019
14:16 BC Ferries supports whale research at Galiano Island
13:52 Marsden Point, New Zealand tops BIMCO Terminal Vetting Report
13:29 Missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov entered Mediterranean Sea
13:08 Boskalis half year result 2019 tainted by offshore projects
12:34 Sevastopol Sea Port to be subsidized with RUB 54 million by municipal government
12:08 Bibby HydroMap commences second UXO survey for Vattenfall
11:40 Tests of unique replenishment system of Akademik Pashin tanker successfully completed
11:08 DP World Liège Container Terminal boosts eco-efficiency with Konecranes
10:55 Eesti Energia to use Klaipėda LNG terminal services
10:26 Hamburg, Germany to host 15th Arctic Shipping Summit on 4-5 December 2019
10:07 Bridge parts transported for second Theemsweg route bridge
09:53 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.1% to $55.98, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.01% to $55.35
09:34 Bunker market sees mixed price movements at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is up to 2,118 points
09:07 Damen wins UX Design Award for Human Machine Interface for Tugs
08:35 MABUX: Bunker Market this morning August, 23
08:07 World’s largest all-electric ferry completes its maiden trip

2019 August 22

18:04 Australian Maritime College and KONGSBERG eye potential for VR training with renewed support program
17:39 Nordic Engineering sponsors roundtable meeting “Import Substitution in Russian Shipbuilding: Ambition and Reality”
17:04 DOF Subsea issues Financial Report for 2nd quarter of 2019
16:47 Karelia proposed construction of deep-water freight and passenger port Kem’
16:25 Bunker prices go down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
16:04 Navios Acquisition reports results for H1 2019
15:53 PJSC TransContainer reports its Financial Results under IFRS for 6M'2019
15:12 ReCAAP ISC has released Guidance on Abduction of Crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and Waters off Eastern Sabah
15:04 Essar Ports expects to meet 60 MT target for FY20
14:31 Höegh LNG announces interim results for the quarter and half year ended 30 June 2019
14:14 Peel Ports takes important step towards being Brexit ready
13:56 Yamal LNG shipped twenty million tons
13:35 Arctic block of Far East Investment and Export Agency headed by Dmitry Fishkin
13:13 Sea Machines successfully deploys industry’s first autonomous spill-response vessel
12:28 Fire onboard MV Pyotr Tchaikovsky kills one in Saint-Petersburg
12:13 Frontera Offshore and DOF Subsea join forces for the Subsea Construction and IMR Mexican market
11:31 Kalmar to enhance STS crane capabilities at EUROGATE Tanger
11:21 HELCOM publishes report on noise sensitivity of animals in the Baltic Sea
10:59 HELCOM gets a new Executive Secretary
10:35 Caterpillar Eurasia and Admiral Makarov University agreed on establishing a brand new up-to-date training center
10:10 Steps towards new treaty to protect marine biodiversity
09:38 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.41% to $60.04, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.38% to $55.47
09:20 Hapag-Lloyd announces changes of North Europe Mediterranean Express Service
09:13 Baltic Dry Index is up to 2,061 points
08:44 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 22

2019 August 21

18:06 BBC Chartering appoints Ulrich Ulrichs as CEO
17:57 BPO joined World Ports Sustainability Program
17:36 Napier Port’s shares commence trading on the NZX
17:06 ZIM announces Q2 2019 results