Discussions Held On Emerging Trends Of Piracy And Sea Robberies!

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Credits: fauxels/ Pexels

The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC), together with the three co-organisers BIMCO, INTERTANKO and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), held an annual Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference on Thursday (27 April) in conjunction with Singapore Maritime Week 2023. 

Two Part Panel Discussion

This year’s conference featured a two-part panel discussion where panelists deliberated on the importance of “Partnership” between the shipping industry and law enforcement agencies in combating piracy and armed robbery against ships, to ensure safe and secure seas for seafarers. Dr Heike Deggim, Director of the Maritime Safety Division at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in her keynote address, provided an update on the global situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships. Dr Deggim expressed appreciation for the excellent work of ReCAAP ISC and the achievements of the organization since 2006, in its mission to enhance regional cooperation through information sharing, capacity building and cooperative arrangements. 

Combating Maritime Crimes

Vice-Admiral (Indian Navy Retired) Pradeep Chauhan, Director of the National Maritime Foundation, India, shared how the Indian authorities work with stakeholders to combat maritime crimes. CG Admiral Artemio M. Abu, Commandant of Philippine Coast Guard, and the Chairperson of ReCAAP ISC Governing Council, said: “From January to March 2023, 25 incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported to ReCAAP ISC. This is a 9% increase over the same period last year. Given the current inflationary pressures and uncertain economic outlook, many of the factors which drive individuals to commit piracy and sea robbery may return, and may lead to higher number of incidents this year…”

Ashok Srinivasan, Manager of Maritime Safety and Security, BIMCO, said: “Piracy and armed robbery in any form is a threat to seafarers and shipping. In the Gulf of Guinea, we are beginning to see attacks again after a lull of 12 to 18 months. In South East Asia, we are witnessing attacks to ships’ crew with the intention to steal cargo, stores or sometimes even the ship. Industry and authorities need to stay vigilant and not let their guard down…” Executive Director ReCAAP ISC, Krishnaswamy Natarajan, in his closing remarks, said: “Combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia is not the sole responsibility of the coastal States or the shipping industry, but a common responsibility shared by all stakeholders since it is a transnational maritime crime.”

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Source: Manifoldtimes