By Gary Howard from London
The UK Chamber of Shipping has warned that despite the fall in Somali piracy, violent “petro-piracy” remains a threat to shipping in West Africa and South East Asia.
The call comes in the wake of International Maritime Bureau (IMB) statistics that show a significant drop in Somali piracy, owing to an multinational military deployment, the use of private maritime security and implementation of Best Management Practice 4 (BMP4).
The chamber warned that progress in the Indian Ocean should not mask the threats to industry and seafarers in the Gulf of Guinea and Singapore Straits, where violent acts of maritime crime take place within the waters of functioning states.
“This new form of maritime criminality, which often has links to shore-based oil theft, is taking place within the jurisdictions of functioning nation-states, but ones that pay little attention to maritime security and governance,” said UK Chamber ceo, Guy Platten. “Put simply, these regions have become a breeding ground for future pirates.”
“Unlike in Somali-based piracy, these new threats do not require a military response. Rather, the UK and other global leaders should pressure governments in West Africa and South East Asia to develop better maritime governance structures and stronger law enforcement.”