European Space Agency commissioned piracy prevention study looks for shipping industry stakeholder feedback

A new study that has been commissioned by the European Space Agency looks to explore the use of space-based situational awareness services for piracy prevention in the maritime industry and gain feedback from industry stakeholders.

Piracy is a global problem that we have seen grow greatly over the past twenty years. The hijacking of ships and the taking of hostages, in both cases for ransom, are continuing to take place throughout piracy-prone areas such as the Arabian Sea, the Horn of Africa, the Malacca Straits and West Africa. Although piracy on the world’s sea reached a 5 year low in 2012 due to a dramatic reduction in Somali piracy, other regions are still largely affected. What’s more, as piracy can be defined an episodic crime, future piracy ‘hot spots’ may continue to emerge to add to the piracy problem.

In sight of this, CLS, a subsidiary of the French Space Agency, and its partners CGI and Lloyds List Intelligence have been commissioned to explore and assess the feasibility of using space-based applications that deal comprehensively with the prevention of piracy to increase situational awareness. The consortium is engaging representatives from the maritime industries, ship owners, governments, security firms, insurance companies and others with a legitimate stake in the issue, to collect and understand the needs of each entity.   “At this stage, the most important factor that will help our consortium identify piracy prevention services for the industry is talking with shipping industry entities” reports Leopold Puig, fleet tracking specialist at CLS. “We need to hear from the different stakeholders that are affected by piracy, people that are able to provide feedback regarding their experience with existing solutions and talk about the services that believe should be developed in the future.”

This stakeholder feedback will enable the consortium to propose space-based solutions and assess their technical feasibility and commercial viability before finally submitting these findings to ESA at the end of the study in 2014.

CLS and its partners are looking for shipping industry stakeholders (ship operators, ship owners, charterers, ship brokers, insurance companies…) to participate in a brief phone interview. For all interested entities, please contact j.emery@cls.frfor more information.

Original Article