The fishing industry’s volume and complexity make it vulnerable to exploitation by transnational organized crime. As such, UNODC and the government of Ecuador organized the first “Regional Conference on Fisheries Crime” of the Americas on 12-13 September in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Piracy incidents in the Sulu and Celebes Sea have been a cause of major concern for seafarers and the shipping industry in general, as crews kidnappings have been regularly seen by gangs in the area. There are various reports which suggest that maritime crime including armed robbery and piracy incidents in the region has seen an upward trend in the last few years.
On 12 September 2018, during his State of the Union Address, President Jean-Claude Juncker said that increased solidarity can be the solution to the increasing problem of migration. Mr. Juncker noted that we cannot find solutions just when a new ship arrives. Namely, Mr. Juncker presented 3 new proposals.
Six Tunisian fishers have been put on trial in Italy after their trawler helped 14 migrants, by towing their small vessel into Italian waters. All the crew were arrested on people smuggling charges, even though they claimed to have alerted the Italian coastguard that there was a boat in distress.
The ReCAAP ISC issued an incident alert informing of the first actual crew abduction in the Sulu-Celebes Seas for 2018, that took place in the waters off Sabah, East Malaysia, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, involving two fishermen from a trawler.
In its weekly report covering the period 4-10 September, ReCAAP ISC informed of another attempted incident of armed robbery against a ship anchored at Muara Berau Anchorage, Samarinda, Indonesia, involving the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier ‘Red Lily’.
The Yemeni Navy managed to prevent an attempt by Houthi rebels against ships in the Red Sea. According to initial reports, Yemeni forces seized a a booby-trapped, explosives-loaded boat sent by the Houthis to attack international ships in the area.
A total of eight armed robberies against ships were reported in Asia in August 2018, according to ReCAAP ISC’s monthly report. The figures reveal a decrease compared to July, but a 5% increase in the total number of incidents reported during January-August 2018, compared with the same period in 2017.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham seized an illicit weapons shipment found aboard a stateless skiff in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden, on August 28. Namely, the guided-missile destroyer found 2,521 AK-47 automatic rifles. The count follows an initial estimation of over 1,000 rifles.
Mr. Jakob P. Larsen, Head of Maritime Security at BIMCO, provides an overview of the status of maritime security in the piracy affected areas around the world, citing possible reasons for the escalation of piracy in the GoG. In addition, Mr. Larsen highlights that industry should not be complacent with the lower activity reported in Somalia.
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