On Mogadishu, on 4-5 December 2018, vital discussions took place on maritime security between the Operation Commander of EU NAVFOR, Major General Charlie Stickland OBE and the Somali Deputy Prime Minister, His Excellency Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid.
In its weekly report for 6-12 November 2018, ReCAAP ISC noted that there were no reports of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. The report however included an attempted incident outside Asia, involving the Singaporean-flagged tanker ‘Po Yang Hu’, while underway in the Gulf of Aden, in the early morning hours of 2 November.
On 16 October, the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier ‘KSL Sydney’ was attacked 340 nm off the coast of Somalia in the Somali Basin, according to data provided by EU NAVFOR. Due to the application of BMP protection measures by the Master, his crew and the private security team, the piracy attack was thwarted and the crew and vessel remained safe.
A merchant vessel was attacked by pirates while sailing in the Gulf of Aden on 16 October, according to UKMTO. The attackers fired shots against the vessel, but the armed guards onboard returned the shots. The attackers abandoned their plan to board the ship and escaped on their skiff.
Following the European Council’s decision on 30 July to extent the mandate of EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta until 31 December 2020, the European shipowners welcomed the move, noting that the operation has brought a significant decline in piracy numbers in the East African region.
The European Council extended the mandate of EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta until 31 December 2020. It also decided to relocate the EU NAVFOR Operational Headquarters from Northwood, UK to Rota, Spain, and to Brest France for the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa MSCHOA as of 29 March 2019.
ISWAN and the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which Taiwan will donate another USD 30,000 to the Piracy Survivor Family Fund, administered by ISWAN, on behalf of the UN Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
Charlie Stickland, the Operational Commander Major General of EU NAVFOR, met with Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO, on 11 May at IMO Headquarters in London. At the meeting, general Stickland updated the IMO Secretary-General on EU NAVFOR’s counter-piracy Operation Atalanta.
66 attacks against ships in Africa in the first quarter of 2018 highlight a surge in global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, according to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau. Figures in Q1 2018 are up compared to 43 incidents for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016.
Two pirate skiffs, carrying a total of four pirates onboard, approached and fired upon a tanker, while underway in the Gulf of Aden, on 31st of March, according to IMB piracy reporting centre. The armed guards onboard the tanker returned fire, resulting in the pirates aborting the attack and moving away.
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