Home » Maritime » Unified strategy vs piracy sought

The International Shipping Federation (ISF) is batting for a unified approach to combatting piracy.

“While we are thankful for the international naval presence in the Gulf of Aden and in other pirate infested waters, we believe that now is the time to formulate concrete actions against piracy,” ISF president Spyros Polemis said before participants to the 11th LSM Manning and Training Conference in Manila last week.

“We, as one of the stakeholders in the global maritime industry, are appealing to other fellow stakeholders, the United Nations (UN) and its other attached agencies looking into the maritime trade, and countries dependent on seaborne trade to come up with concrete solutions to eradicate this problem once and for all,” Polemis said.

In a recent letter to International Transport Federation (ITF) secretary general David Cockroft and Polemis, UN undersecretary general for political affairs B Lynne Pascoe said the UN will do what it can to address piracy.

The letter is in response to a joint petition to the International Maritime Organization by 13 organizations demanding action on piracy. The petition, which contained almost one million signatures, is part of an ongoing international campaign against piracy, backed by the shipping industry, ITF and trade unions worldwide.

In the first nine months of 2010, Somali pirates intensified attacks away from their own coast and were responsible for 44% of the 289 piracy incidents on the world’s seas, according to a report published by the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

Carrying out 35 of the 39 ship hijackings worldwide from January to September 2010, Somali pirates used ocean-going fishing vessels to reach as far as the southern Red Sea, where they hijacked a chemical tanker in July 2010, the first such hijacking recorded in the area. Pirates are heavily armed with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades, IMB reported.

In the Gulf of Aden attacks were greatly reduced, with only 44 reported this year compared with 100 for the same period of 2009.

A new area of increased piracy is the South China Sea, which suffered 30 piracy attempts in the last nine months, resulting in 21 successful boardings. This is triple the number of incidents reported in the same period last year.

Other parts of the world to note a rise in piracy include Chittagong, Bangladesh; Indonesia; and Nigeria.

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