Nigeria will commission $195 million worth of aircraft, boats and vehicles during the next three months, aiming to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea, as Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi informed.
Gulf of Guinea
British security intelligence firm Dryad Global issued its annual report for 2020, providing an overview of piracy trends worldwide. The report reveals that robberies are the most prevalent incident type in West Africa, but kidnapping incidents remain unacceptably high in Gulf of Guinea. Meanwhile, incidents in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia remain low.
It is known that the Gulf of Guinea remains a hotspot for piracy incidents, as the latest IMB Piracy Annual Report revealed. To remind, 35 crew were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the GoG accounting for over than 95% of crew kidnap numbers. Amid this crew kidnapping crisis that shipping industry is dealing with, speakers at the 2021 SAFETY4SEA Talk on security, discussed about key anti-piracy measures and the security challenges for the operators.
In a circular letter to all IMO member states and shipping organizations, the IMO Secretary-General expressed his deep concern about the escalation in the number and severity of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea region and highlighted the need for ships to implement the measures in BMP West Africa.
Mr Pierre Morcos from CSIS ( Center for Strategic & International Studies) mentions that a vast maritime zone of 2.3 million square kilometers and 5700 kilometers of coastline with considerable economic wealth, the Gulf of Guinea has recently been plagued by a succession of acts of piracy, making this maritime space one of the most dangerous and unstable in the world.
In light of the recent increase of pirate activity in the Gulf of Guinea and in the waters under Gabonese jurisdiction, the Gabonese Authorities decided to raise the ISPS Security Level for Gabonese waters and ports from MARSEC Level 1 to MARSEC Level 2, until further notice.
European shipowners (ECSA) welcomed the EU’s political commitment to a first pilot of the new Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) concept in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa, but cautions that the situation remains precarious for European and international merchant vessels and more needs to be done urgently.
Amid the continuing security threat for ships in the Gulf of Guinea, the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) Maritime Security Committee have produced a set of quick reference bridge cards for use onboard vessels transiting this area.
Pirates have reportedly boarded the Marshall Islands-flagged oil chemical tanker MV SEA PHANTOM on Saturday night, while 115 nm off the coast of Kribi, Cameroon, in the Gulf of Guinea, but the attack was unsuccessful.
Amid an alarming trend of continuous piracy attacks against ships in Gulf of Guinea, BIMCO revealed plans to develop a new standard contract for hiring the services of security escort vessels (SEV).
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