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Global Piracy and Armed Robbery Situation in 2020

Update on 24 June 2020:-

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) the European Union Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR) issued their Industry Releasable Threat Assessment (IRTA JUN 20) on 24 Jun 2020 (link), with threat assessment on the security situations in the Red Sea, Bab al Mandeb Strait (BAM), Gulf of Aden (GOA) and the Western Indian Ocean, following their last update on 20 Mar 2020.

This 16-page Threat Assessment informed that the threat to merchant vessels transiting the Red Sea, BAM, GOA and the Western Indian Ocean:

  • from piracy is LOW (an attack is unlikely)
  • from conflict-related activity is MODERATE (an attack is possible but unlikely)
  • from terrorism is LOW (an attack is unlikely)

Update on 11 June 2020:-

  • Industry/NIMASA Joint Working Group

INTERCARGO has been working with BIMCO, ICS, INTERTANKO & OCIMF in collaboration with Nigerian Authorities to improve maritime security and better understand the challenges faced by seafarers. After a series of meetings with the Nigerian Government, an Industry/NIMASA Joint Working Group (JWG) has been formed of key stakeholders.

On 28 May 2020 the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Navy, the oil industry (represented by OCIMF) and the shipping industry (represented by ICS, BIMCO, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and the Nigerian Shipowners’ Association) held the 1st meeting of the JWG to discuss the existing situation and how to tackle the piracy problem in the Eastern Gulf of Guinea and the daily threats faced by seafarers.

  • The 1st meeting was roundly acknowledged as a significant first step towards strengthened collaboration between Nigeria and industry in increasing maritime security in the region. All attendees reiterated their commitment to cooperate in facilitating the indispensable law enforcement efforts against pirate groups thus improving the security situation in the Eastern Gulf of Guinea. It was noted that an improvement in the security situation, would pave the way for Nigeria and other states to realise the full potential of their blue economies whilst ensuring the safety and security of seafarers.
  • More details on the 1st meeting would be provided to interested members upon request.

The 2nd meeting is scheduled on 25 Jun 2020.

IMO endorsed the significant progress of the establishment. The Statement by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, says:

  • “I am personally committed to supporting this joint initiative, and had the opportunity to convey IMO’s support to Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, Director General, NIMASA, personally when I met him virtually, when I also expressed my congratulations to the Nigeria Navy on the recent successful operations executed to prevent and deter acts of piracy and armed robbery in the region.
  • “Those actions, together with other initiatives underway in Nigeria such as the Deep Blue Project send a strong and valuable message to the international community with respect to the considerable efforts Nigeria is making to curb piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Gulf of Guinea.
  • “I am deeply encouraged by this initiative, and the positive manner in which both Nigeria and the industry have embraced the value of cooperation and joint working.
  • “I would also like to commend the industry’s effort to establish an open dialogue with coastal states and for the work undertaken to develop the Best Management Practices for West Africa, and would like to highlight the importance of full application of the measures and reporting procedures contained therein”. (link)
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