International Chamber of Shipping expresses concern at increasing attacks on ships crews

International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) says the number of ship’s crewmembers being kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea increased by more than 50% in 2019 and this year has begun with a further escalation of violence, armed robbery and kidnaping. The crisis is deepening – pirates are bolder and taking greater number of hostages. Levels of violence are high, and deaths have occurred both during attacks and during captivity of seafarers and military personnel. This is not business as usual. For example, 20 crewmembers were kidnapped from the MT Duke on 15 December last year with one of those crewmembers dying in captivity – this not acceptable.

Over 90% of global kidnappings reported at sea took place in the Gulf of Guinea. It remains an uncomfortable fact that the vast majority of attacks are launched on shipping from within Nigerian territorial waters. We recognise that Nigeria is improving its maritime security capability through programmes such as the Deep Blue Project and ICS applauds and encourages these measures. However, now is the time to see real results in terms of action at sea and in the capture and prosecution of pirates.

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Source: en.portnews.ru

Shipowners call for ‘freedom of navigation’

By Jim Wilson

Three major international ocean shipping representative bodies — the International Chamber of Shipping, the Asian Shipowners’ Association and the European Community Shipowners’ Association — have called for the international community to stop the escalation of tensions in the Strait of Hormuz.
    They also have called for the international community to fully respect international law.
    “All countries should ensure the safe passage of merchant vessels by respecting the freedom of navigation enshrined in Article 87(1)a and the right of innocent passage defined in Article 19 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS],” the joint statement reads.

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Source: americanshipper.com