• 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.”




2020 April 10

09:42 Bunker prices go down at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia
09:19 Port of Gothenburg works at full capacity, despite the Coronavirus crisis
09:10 Baltic Dry Index is up to 635 points
08:16 Sino-Global to acquire majority stake in Mandarine Ocean

2020 April 9

18:27 Port of Los Angeles container volumes down 30.9% to 449,568 TEU in March 2020
18:07 ECSA thanks the European Commission for the guidelines on seafarers, passengers and other persons on board ships
18:01 Port of Ventspils (Latvia) handled 3.7 million tonnes in 3M’2020, down 42% YoY
17:35 Tianjin Port Group and Hebei Port Group sign an agreement
17:17 Ministry of Industry and Trade to analyze ship designs for using shipboard equipment of Russian origin
17:05 North P&I Club supports new digital COVID-19 tool from International Group
16:35 COVID-19: CMA CGM launches the BUSINESS CONTINUITY PACK
16:20 Port of Liepaja (Latvia) handled 1.58 million tonnes of cargo in 3M’2020, down 16.3 % Y-o-Y
16:05 Port of Gothenburg offers inland storage of imported goods
15:35 Port of Hamburg container transport by inland waterway up 13 percent to 145,078 TEU in 2019
15:22 Throughput of Taganrog port in 3M’2020 grew by 20% to 780,000 tonnes
15:04 ABS is first in industry to accept 3D models for class surveys
14:26 Novotrans handled first batch of export grain in the port of Ust-Luga
13:37 International Bunker Conference IBC 2020 postponed due to COVID-19
13:17 ABP increases capacity to store refrigerated containers at the Port of Hull
12:53 ABP continue to deliver operational continuity for customers
12:29 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:30 Construction of innovative training vessel STC Group begins
11:04 Stena Line plans to close the Trelleborg-Sassnitz route
10:28 ABB brings fuel cell technology a step closer to powering large ships
10:18 New restrictions on border crossings in Finland - effects on Finnlines’ passenger services
09:54 Delo Group paid almost 60 billion rubles to PJSC TransContainer minority shareholders as part of the repurchase of 49.6410% shares
09:47 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Apr 09
09:35 Sovcomflot’s Board of Directors acknowledges Group’s performance in 2019
09:17 Baltic Dry Index is up to 607 points

2020 April 8

18:36 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from West Med, Adriatic, Black Sea and East Med to the Middle East Gulf & Red Sea
18:06 The Maritime Union of Australia condemn Government for treatment of cruise ship crews
17:36 Estimated March imports at major U.S. retail container ports hit five-year low, declines expected to continue amid pandemic
17:05 PD Ports continues investment in environmentally sustainable technology
16:36 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from West Med, Adriatic, Black Sea & East Med to Far East
16:35 SCHOTTEL EcoPeller deployed in modernization project for first time
16:13 Port of Tallinn reports its 2020 Q1 passenger and cargo flows
16:05 Gimi receives force majeure claim for FLNG from BP Mauritania
15:44 Allseas wins removal contract for multiple North Sea installations
15:40 KMG Inseneriehituse AS to build bridge for Port of Tallinn
15:04 THE Alliance announces COVID-19 response measures for May and June 2020
14:36 Vyborg Shipyard holds steel cutting ceremony for trawler of Project KMT02
14:02 The Kings of Spain check the maintenance of the supply chain in the port of Valencia
13:43 Lotos shipyard to build four dredgers for Russia’s inland water ways
13:21 Port Kolomna signs agreement with RF Ministry of Industry and Trade for ship srapping grant
13:02 North Carolina Ports completes Turning Basin Expansion Project at the Port of Wilmington
12:42 Shipping credit outlook revised to negative: cash crunch worsens as Covid-19 disrupts trade
12:05 Inland terminals at the Port of Hamburg hit by the corona crises differently
11:30 IAPH Tokyo secretariat transited to remote work from home
11:05 SAFEEN acquires its largest service vessel to date
11:02 BC Ferries adjusted service levels due to Covid-19 pandemic
10:39 ABB increases remote support for ships to help customers during the COVID-19 outbreak
10:38 Port of Gdansk actively supports fight against coronavirus
10:16 Tallink Grupp’s vessels Megastar, Galaxy and Baltic Princess suspend passenger transport to Finland
09:53 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Apr 08
09:40 Bunker prices start going up at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is down to 596 points
08:47 Golden Ocean announces appointment of Ulrik Uhrenfeldt Andersen as CEO

2020 April 7

18:38 RF Government makes big decision to quit transshipment of NOVATEK’s LNG in Norway
17:27 BashVolgotanker opens navigation with first tanker leaving Samara for Kavkaz
17:03 IADC moves its seminar and course to 2nd half of 2020