• 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 October 19

16:12 Bibby Marine appoints Helen Samuels to lead the company into its next phase of development
14:58 Med Marine is building new concept ice class tugs for Svitzer
12:34 Sohar Port & Freezone inaugurate new Svitzer pilot boat duo
11:44 USCG offloads more than $92 million worth of cocaine in San Diego
10:49 Singapore company slapped with NOK 7 million fine in the Harrier case

2019 October 18

19:19 New port icebreaker named Ob delivered to FSUE Atomflot
18:54 Port Kolomna hosted ceremony of consecration for pusher tug named Sergey Kladko
18:31 RF Ministry of Transport to expand area banned for navigation near Crimea bridge
18:12 Northwest Seaport Alliance’s Clean Truck Program earns AAPA environmental award
17:57 NUTEP Container Terminal handled three millionth TEU since its operations started in 2004
17:38 Expert RA affirms its ‘ruA’ non-financial company credit rating on DeloPorts
17:13 Port of Virginia buys 25 new hybrid shuttle carriers
17:00 First grain shipment via Sabetta port expected in July 2020 – RF Ministry of Agriculture
16:46 Onezhsky Shipyard delivers buoy tender of Project 3265 named Ladozhsky
16:20 ERMA FIRST invests in METIS Cyberspace Technology
15:45 International organizations unite at IMO
15:14 "K" LINE, MOL, & NYK share data with ONE through the common data platform "IoS-OP"
14:49 Main engines loaded onto lead ship of PV22 project at Nevsky Shipyard
14:12 ESPO publishes European port sector’s Environmental Report 2019
13:53 Blagoveshchensk shipyard resumed construction of modernized seiners of Project 1338
13:32 Total launches its first LNG bunker vessel
13:12 SBM Offshore successful bidder for partner’s minority ownership in SBM Offshore operated FPSO companies
12:54 BIMCO submits proposals to IMO to enhance exchange and harmonization of data
12:31 MSC rules out Arctic exploration on environmental concerns
12:01 British Ports Association publishes new assessment of business environment ahead of annual conference in Belfast
11:30 Port of Antwerp volume up 1.1% in September 2019
11:05 DNV GL awards AiP certificates to HHI for three types of standard mid-sized FPSOs
10:37 RF Navy’s cruiser Marshal Ustinov completes business call to Cyprus
10:03 Hapag-Lloyd announces GRI from East Asia to East Coast South America
09:54 Bunker prices are flat at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:36 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,861 points
09:18 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.50% to $59.61, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.13% to $53.86
09:01 APM Terminals launches global customer alerts solution
08:42 MABUX: Bunker Market this morning, Oct 18
08:05 MOL introduces AR Navigation System at Maritime Conference in Dubai
07:52 The European shipping industry urges the EU to bolster maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea

2019 October 17

18:12 World's first emission-free push boat “Elektra” to have SCHOTTEL propulsion units
17:47 Five vessels call at the port of Brussels to show technological solutions to cut CO2 and air emissions
17:45 Nexans celebrates the next step in the construction of its Aurora cable installation vessel
17:43 Lotos shipyard delivers non-self-propelled cargo pontoon of Project GRPN
17:41 DFDS takes delivery of third Chinese-built RoRo
17:19 RroZero rolls out new 12m Site-Management boat for fish farming markets
16:14 North Sea Port offers online liner services
15:50 Ships detachment of RF Navy’s Pacific Fleet arrive on business call to Kingdom of Thailand
15:26 Maldives received maritime security training from IMO on the ISPS Code
15:02 Maritime policy for sustainable development was in focus of IMO national workshop in Chile
14:37 IMO workshop helps put maritime development in Africa’s mainstream
14:11 VT Halter Marine launches first US-flagged offshore LNG bunker ATB barge for Q-LNG
13:25 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
13:01 Port of Oakland container volume up 3.1 percent in September 2019
12:41 Thordon to supply propeller shaft bearings for MSC Cruises' third Seaside class cruise ship
12:08 Oboronlogistics launched new shipping line linking ports of Novorossiysk, Tartus, Alexandria and Samsun
11:39 NIBULON MAX made her first cargo trip
11:00 Port of Long Beach posts cargo volume of 707,000 TEUs in September 2019
10:44 Air quality measures make impact at Port of Southampton
10:23 ABP held its annual oil spill exercise on the Humber
10:02 LUKOIL BoD recommends interim dividend amount
09:40 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.67% to $59.02, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.84% to $52.91
09:21 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Oct 17
09:18 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,897 points