Efforts To Strengthen Anti-Piracy Collaboration

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  • International support for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Guinea by non-regional navies is growing.
  • The communication and exchange of information between reporting centres ashore, merchant ships, non-regional navies and regional navies was discussed.
  • In a most welcome development, France announced that it is deploying a state-of-the-art Maritime Patrol Aircraft (the Atlantique-2 type) to Libreville in Gabon.

International support for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Guinea by non-regional navies is growing, with BIMCO supporting the efforts committed to repress piracy in the region, says an article published on safety4sea website. 

Efforts to repress piracy

On 19 January 2022, the 4th Plenary Meeting of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/SHARED Awareness and De-Confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE) enjoyed participation by the majority of navies from the countries in the Gulf of Guinea area as well as many non-regional countries and military and shipping stakeholders.

Communication, Lifeblood of any joint military operation

The communication and exchange of information between reporting centres ashore, merchant ships, non-regional navies and regional navies was discussed at length and several concerns were raised.

Namely, there had been recent incidents where information regarding ongoing pirate action group disruptions had not been shared until after the completion of the operation because of concerns over the operational security for the involved military forces.

In fact, BIMCO suggested a plan for communication between all stakeholders, ashore and at sea, and that the relevant working group had not yet been able to agree on a communications plan.

The co-chair of the meeting concluded that the BIMCO proposal for a communications plan should be revisited with an aim to expedite its finalisation.

After the meeting, BIMCO’s Head of Maritime Safety & Security, Jakob Larsen, stated: “Communication is the lifeblood of any joint military operation. Operational security, however, should never be compromised out of political correctness”.

Deploy a state-of-the-art Maritime Patrol Aircraft

In a most welcome development, France announced that it is deploying a state-of-the-art Maritime Patrol Aircraft (the Atlantique-2 type) to Libreville in Gabon. This aircraft’s radars and optical sensors are designed to detect small periscopes at long ranges and will also be able to detect pirate skiffs moving around at considerable range.

While recalling that the details, such as allocation of flight hours of the French deployment, are still unknown, BIMCO’s Jakob Larsen commented: With the exception of another frigate with a helicopter and a robust mandate, the antipiracy assets we have called for since 2019 are now largely available”.

At the meeting, experience was also shared regarding self-defence measures and the extent to which ships in the area are effectively implementing them. Based on observations in the Gulf of Guinea, some military stakeholders raised concerns that too many commercial ships did not have adequately effective self-defence measures in place.

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Source: safety4sea 

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