Take on a more dynamic role
Brutal murders of seafarers in recent weeks galvanised the Global Maritime Education & Training Association (GlobalMET) to take the bull by the horns. Instead of waiting for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to come up with a lasting solution to the problem of piracy, it has decided to put its act together,
take on a more dynamic role by ensuring that within the training and education programme sufficient awareness is created so that seafarers closely adhere to the Best Management Practices, which can assure safety while in piracy infested waters.
The conference it organised on 28th February in Mumbai on “Piracy – Orchestrating the Response” (conforming with the IMO theme for 2011) it became evident at that it has more on its hands then it bargained for.
With regards creating awareness on piracy among seafarers Capt Rod Short, Executive Secretary of GlobalMET said that the Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention did not have the necessary direction for the seafarers for tackling piracy. The next amendment to the STCW convention was only due in 2015.
Dr. Agnihotri, Director General of Shipping, Government of India cautioned, “Many are looking at piracy as a business opportunity. It is not something that can be wished away. It reflects similar turn of events that caused the failure of the League of Nations.”
He pointed out the reasons that led to the failure of the League of Nations. It was because it could not create actions from its words.
It could not back diplomacy with the credible threat and, where necessary, the use of force. So small evils went unchecked, tyrants became emboldened then greater evils were unleashed. Then, before their eyes, the evil became too big to challenge.
Daniel Sheehan Maritime Advisor to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and ex USCG and member of the US delegation to the IMO said, “Piracy can be solved by the United Nations since it is a multidimensional and multi-national problem.
It is a well organized business and involves multiple maritime interests impacting the supply chain and has stressed the already stressed out industry. It is becoming an increasing adaptable business hampered by cumbersome international legal regime.”
He explained that the pirates who attack ships and hijack them, demand and collect ransom money and pass it on to the big bosses are mere stooges. It is their bosses who wield immense power as they have a nexus with arm smugglers and other underworld entities besides also with politicians of certain countries.
Funds are being electronically transferred arms and ammunition as well as skiffs and speedboats are being supplied through agents in Dubai and other countries. Piracy business is exportable he warned. If the piracy issue is not addressed now it will get entrepreneurs across the globe interested in this business.
Cdr J. Suresh the Command Operation officer of the Western Command, Indian Navy warned, “Each successful attack is making the pirates more hi-tech, richer, greedier and bolder. Now that they have tasted blood they will continue to do so with impunity.
Because there is no unified political body or international organisation trying to tackle the issue it makes it difficult to put a stop to it. Taking armed guards on the vessel is not a solution because if you take armed guards you might soon have pirates flaunting missiles. It is better to leave it to the navy to intervene.”
It was generally agreed that Best Management Practices and use of various deterrents including seeking refuge in the citadel until the commandos came to the rescue was the best way to brave piracy attack. This is the only way out for it appeared that piracy is here to stay.
Source: Maritime Professional