• 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 June 16

17:13 DC area agencies to conduct mass rescue exercise off National Harbor
16:05 Boskalis appointed as salvor for both damaged tankers in the Gulf of Oman
15:53 Fincantieri and Naval Group sign a joint venture agreement
13:47 Diana Shipping Inc. announces the sale of a Panamax dry bulk vessel, the MV Thetis
12:47 WSC unveils its hybrid patrol vessel at Seawork 2019
11:41 GasLog Partners LP announces new multi-year charter agreement with Gunvor

2019 June 15

15:44 Wight Shipyard rolls out its new windfarm support vessel concept at Seawork Int'l 2019
13:17 Malta Freeport hosts its first LNG-powered container ship
12:53 Petrobras closes the sale of TAG
11:41 USCG, local partners respond to sailing vessel aground off Magic Island
08:43 Vessel training simulation underway at Tema Port’s new Terminal 3

2019 June 14

18:05 Ole Martin Grimsrud appointed CFO of Aker Solutions
17:44 USCG Cordova FOL crew saves man stranded for three days on Montague Island
17:05 Knud E. Hansen wins two separate contracts for innovative large RoRo vessels
16:41 Hapag-Lloyd to increase rates from North East Asia to Australia
16:26 Murmansk Sea Fishing Port handled 90,300 tonnes of cargo in Jan-May’2019, down 38.7% Y-o-Y
16:05 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to South Africa
15:14 “K” Line receives recognition for vessel speed reduction programs in the West Coast of North America
15:00 UK maritime industry leaders debate decarbonization, digital technologies and the future of safety at the annual ABS UK National Committee meeting
14:00 China Railway Container Transport signs strategic cooperation agreement with SITC International Holdings
13:38 Container throughput of Vladivostok Sea Fishing Port in 5M’2019 up 39% YoY to 89,649 TEUs
13:09 Algoma increases its interest in in the CSL International Pool
12:41 Port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) handled 19.77 million tonnes of cargo in 5M’2019, up 8.5% Y-o-Y
12:09 Global Ship Lease announces new charter agreements
11:32 Bunker prices continue going down at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
11:09 ECSA issues statement on suspected attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman
10:51 France signs up to fishing vessel training treaty
10:30 Zhatai Shipyard to let build up to 10 river ships and scrap at least two ships per year
10:07 Jan De Nul plans to reduce CO₂ emissions by 15% a year
09:49 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.64% to $61.69, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.36% to $52.47
09:30 MacGregor automated mooring solution specified for the world's first autonomous and zero-emission container ship, Yara Birkeland
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,062 points
09:07 GTT receives an order from HHI to design the tanks of two new LNG carriers
08:53 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, June 14
08:00 Long Beach cargo volumes down 16.6% to 573,623 TEUs in May 2019
07:01 Port of Los Angeles volumes up 7.8 percent to 828,662 TEUs in May 2019
06:58 MPA publishes second edition of guides on IMO 2020

2019 June 13

18:26 Maritime Technology Framework strengthens ties between DSME and DNV GL
18:05 J-ENG presents the latest technologies about MGO mono-fuel engine (UEC-LSJ), together with UEC42LSH and LP-EGR at 29th CIMAC World Congress
17:49 Port of Gdansk delegation takes part in IAPH conference, Guangzhou
17:28 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in Jan-May’2019 fell by 18% Y-o-Y to 4.98 million tonnes
17:04 Throughput of port Vyborg in Jan-May’2019 fell by 39% Y-o-Y to 373,000 tonnes
16:45 MarineTraffic partners with exactEarth to deliver most comprehensive vessel tracking yet
16:23 Throughput of port Primorsk in Jan-May’2019 grew by 8% Y-o-Y to 24.43 million tonnes
16:04 MarineTraffic partners with satellite AIS data provider exactEarth
15:39 Freight turnover of Neva-Metal (Saint-Petersburg) in 5M’19 fell by 10% Y-o-Y to 1.18 million tonnes
14:42 Viking Line announces additional departures on Helsinki-Tallinn routes during summer season
14:21 Throughput of port Vysotsk in Jan-May'2019 climbed by 8% Y-o-Y to 8.06 million tonnes
14:03 Hunter Group chooses OSM for technical management of newbuild VLCC fleet
13:49 Palau is approved by IMO as STCW White List member state
13:48 Jotun signs agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries for a new type of marine paint
13:32 Bunker prices continue going down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
13:14 J-ENG rolls out its latest engine technologies at 29th CIMAC World Congress
12:39 Port of Ust-Luga handled 45.24 million tonnes in 5M’19, up 9% Y-o-Y
12:04 Jumbo awarded transportation & installation contract for Yunlin WTG foundations offshore Taiwan
11:03 Damen Marine Components acquires WK Hydraulics
10:50 Throughput of Port St. Petersburg in Jan-May'2019 climbed by 1% Y-o-Y to 25.01 million tonnes
10:36 Oshima Shipbuilding and DNV GL sign strategic cooperation
10:26 Damen Anchor & Chain Factory inks agreement with Fendercare at Seawork
10:11 Throughput of port Helsinki (Finland) in Jan-May’19 fell by 6.5% to 6 million tonnes (table)