Shipping firms still pay $2,000 per day for protection of crew, vessel

By Godwin Oritse

Despite the abolition of the controversial safe anchorage area by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, where vessels and crew members wait before they proceed to berths, shipping companies still pay $2,000 per day to operators of the area.

Speaking Vanguard Maritime Report at a maritime stakeholders meeting in Lagos last week, Mr. Mark Wash, Executive Director, ENL Consortium, operators of berth A, B and C at the Apapa port, confirmed that NPA has told shipping firms to stop paying for protection at the ‘safe anchorage’.

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Source: vanguardngr.com

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NIWA unmasks sea robbers hide-out at Iddo waterfront

Lagos

By Oko Ebuka

In a bid to keep the Nigerian waterways safe from robbers, the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, Lagos Area office, recently, destroyed shanties on Lagos channels around Iddo waterfront to secure the area for navigation.

The exercise followed petitions and reports of criminal activities and presence of suspected pirates who hide in the shanties where they plan and launch attacks against legal occupants of waterfront facilities as well as take down boats and vessels transporting goods across the channel.

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Source: vanguardngr.com

Gulf of Guinea: Security team comes alive in 3 months

By Godwin Oritse

In a bid to secure oil and gas operations as well as fishery activities in the Gulf of Guinea, countries in the region have agreed to set up an expert working team that would implement resolutions reached at the just concluded Gobal Maritime Security Conference, GMSC, held in Abuja, last week.

Disclosing this to newsmen at the end of the conference, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said that the team will be established within the next three months.

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Source: vanguardngr.com

Cyber Hack: Fortifying Maritime, Port Security

Andrew Kinsey

The United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert 06-19 (USCG MSA 06-19) outlines a February 2019 incident aboard a deep draft commercial vessel that called on the Port of New York / New Jersey after experiencing a significant cyber incident that impacted their shipboard network. 

The Safety Alert stated in part:
“An interagency team of cyber experts, led by the Coast Guard, responded and conducted an analysis of the vessel’s network and essential control systems. The team concluded that although the malware significantly degraded the functionality of the onboard computer system, essential vessel control systems had not been impacted. Nevertheless, the interagency response found that the vessel was operating without effective cybersecurity measures in place, exposing critical vessel control systems to significant vulnerabilities.”

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Source: marinelink.com

Councillor: Cedros fishermen escaped pirate attack

At around 6 am on Monday, fishermen who took to the sea for an early-morning catch reported being run down by pirates off the Cedros coast.

Councillor for the area Shankar Teelucksingh was called out to the shores of Cedros, where fishermen were docking their boat. They reported seeing what they said were Venezuelan pirates approaching them at sea.

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Source: newsday.co.tt

Maritime piracy incidents down in Q3, yet Gulf of Guinea remains a hot spot

The International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) report for the third quarter of 2019 demonstrates fewer incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships than the first nine months of 2018.

119 incidents of Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships have been reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) in 2019, compared to 156 incidents for the same period in 2018. Overall, the 2019 incidents include 95 vessels boarded, 10 vessels fired upon, 10 attempted attacks, and four vessels hijacked. The number of crew taken hostage through the first nine months has declined from 112 in 2018 to 49 in 2019.

While the overall number of incidents has dropped, incidents involving guns and knives remain consistent. There have been 24 knife-related and 35 gun-related incidents reported in 2019, compared to 25 and 37 for the first nine months of 2018. These statistics confirm IMB’s concerns over continued threats to the safety and security of seafarers.

Gulf of Guinea

The Gulf of Guinea remains a high risk area  for piracy and armed robbery. The region accounts for 86% of crew taken hostage and nearly 82% of crew kidnappings globally.

In July a general cargo vessel was hijacked approximately 120nm SW from Brass. Ten crew members were kidnapped from the vessel and released four weeks later. In August a bulk carrier and a general cargo vessel were boarded within hours of each other at Douala anchorage, Cameroon and a total of seventeen crew were kidnapped from the vessels. Within six weeks all kidnapped crew were released.  This incident demonstrates the range of piracy activity in the Gulf of Guinea and that all types of ships are vulnerable to attack. Lagos recorded 11 incidents in 2019, the highest number for any port.

Lagos recorded 11 incidents in 2019 – the highest number of any port in the world. Despite reporting more attacks than any other country, Nigeria has reduced Q3 piracy attacks from 41 in 2018 to 29 in 2019.

“Although incidents are down, the Gulf of Guinea continues to be a concern for piracy and armed robbery-related activities with kidnappings of crew members increasing in both scale and frequency,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director, ICC IMB. “It is important that shipmasters and owners continue to report all actual, attempted, and suspected incidents to ensure that an accurate picture of these attacks emerge and  action is taken against these criminals before the incidents further escalate.”

Continued improvement in Indonesia

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported a decline in overall piracy related incidents with 20 actual and attempted attacks for the first nine months of 2019. Over the past five years, Indonesia has gradually reduced its share of piracy related incidents. As recent as 2015, Indonesia reported 86 actual and attempted piracy incidents through Q3. Indonesia’s impressive gains can be attributed to continued information sharing between the Indonesian Marine Police and the IMB PRC.

No incidents in Somalia, but threats remain

Meanwhile, Somalia has no piracy-related incidents recorded for the first nine months of 2019. Although no incidents have been reported, Somali pirates continue to possess the capacity to carry out attacks in the Somali basin and wider Indian Ocean. As a result, the IMB PRC advises ship owners to remain cautious when transitting these waters.

Global anti‐piracy support

Since 1991 the IMB PRC’s 24-hour manned centre, has provided the maritime industry,  governments and response agencies with timely and transparent data on piracy and armed  robbery incidents – received directly from the Master  of the vessel or its owners.

The  IMB  PRC’s  prompt  forwarding  of  reports  and  liaison  with  response  agencies,  its  broadcasts to shipping via Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Safety Net  Services and email alerts to Company Security Officers, all provided free of cost, has helped  the response against piracy and armed robbery and the security of seafarers, globally.

IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected  piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB PRC globally. This first step in the response  chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle piracy.  Transparent statistics from an independent, non- political, international organization can act  as a catalyst to achieve this goal.

Source: iccwbo.org

Tough measures against maritime crimes

Ensuring that trade and travel by sea are as secure as possible is a key element of IMO’s work and mandate. IMO took part in the Global Maritime Security Conference held in Nigeria (7-9 October) to look at maritime security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea as well as potential solutions to address maritime threats in the region.

IMO’s Assistant Secretary-General Lawrence Barchue, speaking on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, highlighted that incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the waters off West Africa has the highest reported rate globally and it has become an established criminal activity of very serious concern. He said that “IMO will assist its Member States in enhancing their ability to address maritime security challenges and continue to support the implementation of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct“.

Under the theme “Managing and Securing our Waters” over 80 nations were represented at the event which covered more than eleven thematic panels ranging from maritime governance to technology deployment and regulatory issues.

A list of recommendation was adopted to boost the capacity of maritime security stakeholders and move to end maritime insecurity in the region.

Source: imo.org