Maersk is calling on authorities to launch an “effective military capacity” in the Gulf of Guinea, in order to enhance safety for vessels, after two piracy attacks on Maersk vessels in less than a month.
Namely, Maersk highlights that security for vessels and crews in the Gulf of Guinea is soo poor that it may be life-threatening to sail in these waters.
It is unacceptable in this day and age that seafarers cannot perform their jobs of ensuring a vital supply chain for this region without having to worry about the risk of piracy. The risk has reached a level where effective military capacity needs to be deployed
said Aslak Ross, head of marine standards at Copenhagen-based Maersk.
In fact, Maersk is suggesting a strategy in the Gulf of Guinea to address the increasing number of assaults, armed robberies and kidnappings. The strategy offers both a short-term solution and a long-term plan.
Two incidents made Maersk make this call:
- Saturday 12th December, container vessel Maersk Cadiz also experienced an attempted pirate boarding which was also averted.
- Wednesday 13th January pirates attempted to board container vessel Maersk Cardiff which was on route from Tema, Ghana to Cameroon. By the time a patrol vessel had reached the Maersk Cardiff, the pirates had aborted their hijack attempt.
The number of attacks on vessels globally rose 20% in 2020 to 195, with 135 crew kidnapped, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre’s latest stats. The Gulf of Guinea accounted for 95% of hostages taken in 22 separate instances, and 100% of the hijackings that occurred.
The seas in this region are vast and poorly well guarded, a combination that creates ideal conditions for piracy. Nigeria’s navy is the most powerful in the Gulf of Guinea, but it remains underfunded and neglected
adds Munro Anderson, a partner at Dryad Global.
Except from Maersk, there are also other shipowners that want a solution from international agencies similar to the response levied following the prolific hijackings offshore Somalia.