The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has set maritime safety in the Gulf of Guinea as one of the most important factors, in order for Nigeria to succeed in its blue economy.
Fewer incidents compared to a year ago, while severity of attacks also declined, says ReCAAP.
JANUARY-MARCH 2018 REPORT
A total of 14 incidents (comprising nine actual incidents and five attempted incidents) were reported in Asia during January-March 2018 compared to 27 incidents (comprising 21 actual incidents and six attempted incidents) during the same period in 2017. This accounts for a 48% decrease in the number of incidents reported during January-March 2018 compared to January-March 2017. Of the 14 incidents reported during January-March 2018, one was an incident of piracy and 13 were incidents of armed robbery against ships.
The improvement of the situation during January-March 2018 was due to a decrease in the number of incidents at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh and Philippines. There was no actual incident of abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Sea; and no incident of hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo during January-March 2018. However, of concern was an attempted incident reported in the Sulu-Celebes Sea involving container ship, Kudos 1 on 16 Feb 18.
In comparison, the incidents reported during January-March 2018 were less severe than incidents reported during January-March 2017. There was no CAT 1 and CAT 2 incidents reported during January-March 2018. Of the nine actual incidents reported during January-March 2018, three were CAT 3 and six were CAT 4 incidents. As for January-March 2017, of the 21 actual incidents, three were CAT 1, one was CAT 2, five were CAT 3 and 12 were CAT 4 incidents.
During January-March 2018, several arrests of perpetrators and recovery of stolen items were reported. The ReCAAP ISC commends the authorities for their quick action in response to the ship’s timely reporting. In these incidents, the authorities were able to recover the stolen items; and arrest the perpetrators.
The ReCAAP ISC encourages ship master and crew to exercise enhanced vigilance and make timely reporting of all incidents to the nearest coastal State and flag State; and enforcement agencies to provide quick responses to reports of incidents, and render assistance to victim ships.
The recent attack on a tanker proceeding in the Southern Red Sea has reportedly had no impact on the flow of ships in the region or on the working status of Yemeni ports.
Status of Yemeni ports and the situation as at 6 April 2018 is as follows:
- Working: Aden, Mukalla, Ash Shihr Terminal, Nishtun, Saleef and Hodeidah
- Closed: Mokha, Ras Isa Marine Terminal (Safer), Ras Isa Petroleum Products Reception Facility and Balhaf LNG Terminal
The capacity of all operating ports may, however, be limited, as cranes may be unavailable and there may be a lack of fuel supplies and other basic services. All vessels attempting to enter Yemeni ports must also expect postponements and delays due the special entry conditions in force and multiple inspections carried out by the Saudi Arabian-led coalition.
The situation is, however, subject to rapid change and Members and clients are advised to warn their vessels’ crews of the volatility of the situation and to carry out an assessment of the risks involved prior to entering or transiting Yemeni waters.
ZHOUSHAN, Zhejiang, April 5 (Xinhua) — The 29th fleet from Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has left east China’s port city Zhoushan for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somali to escort civilian ships.
With over 700 officers and soldiers, dozens of special operation soldiers, and two helicopters on board, the fleet started its journey on Wednesday morning.
Under the mandate of the UN Security Council, Chinese Navy began to carry out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia in December 2008.
Up to July 2017, it escorted 6,400 Chinese and foreign vessels and warned away more than 3,000 suspected pirate ships.
During the missions, the navy also carried out the evacuation of Chinese nationals from war zones in Libya in 2011 and Yemen in 2015.
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director-General (DG) Dr Dakuku Peterside has vowed to stem the tide of criminalities on territorial waters, develop human capacity, ensure safety of vessels, remove wrecks and mitigate pollution.
Peterside, who spoke with The Nation, assured indigenous ship owners and the international community that NIMASA would ensure the safety of their vessels, crew and cargoes to foster shipping business and trading.
He hailed the partnership between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy, describing the institutions as partners in progress.
The NIMASA boss noted the importance of the Navy to the development of the maritime sector, thanking the Navy for the synergy.
He commended the officers and men of the Navy for their efforts in combating piracy over the years, pledging the agency’s support in carrying out its operations.
Piracy is capable of crippling the economy. Since shipping largely contributes to the growth of any economy, the economy cannot thrive where piracy activities are carried out,
he said, adding that he was happy that the Nigerian Navy created the Central Naval Command, which would help checkmate illegalities in the industry.
Peterside said the agency would continue to extend human capacity development training to the naval personnel in the Maritime Guard Command Unit of the agency.
He also warned shipping companies against polluting the ports, which had adopted best practices to protect marine resources from ship pollution.
He urged the firms to use the waterways well or face the law, adding that pollution must be tackled to make the waterways cleaner.
He expressed displeasure that general environmental issues were not considered by some oil and gas firms in the country.
NIMASA, he said, will issue a roadmap on Marine Waste Management in Nigeria.
According to him, NIMASA will domesticate some International Maritime Organisation (IMO) codes and conventions to protect the maritime sector, adding that IMO and domestic laws were considered in planning the roadmap structure to provide the ideal platform to grow the business of managing waste generated in the maritime environment.
He plegded the agency’s support for public-private partnership model to facilitate effective management of ship-generated waste.
Meanwhile, Sea and Cargo Logistics Chairman Raphael Christo-pher has alleged that many foreign ships were polluting the territorial waters with waste and depleting fish stocks.
At a seminar organised by sea workers in Lagos, he urged the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, to fashion out a policy that will facilitate effective management of ship-generated waste within the marine and coastal environment.
Twenty-eight countries, with an aggregate merchant shipping tonnage of 26.37 per cent of the world total, Christopher said, have ratified the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) convention.
Source: The Nation
A surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa is pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, warns the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016.
Worldwide in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.
The Gulf of Guinea accounts for 29 incidents in 2018 Q1, more than forty percent of the global total. Of the 114 seafarers captured worldwide, all but one were in this region.
All four vessels hijackings were in the Gulf of Guinea, where no hijackings were reported in 2017. Two product tankers were hijacked from Cotonou anchorage in mid-January and early February, prompting the IMB PRC to issue a warning to ships. Towards the end of March, two fishing vessels were hijacked 30nm off Nigeria and 27nm off Ghana.
“The hijacking of product tankers from anchorages in the Gulf of Guinea is a cause of concern. In these cases, the intent of the perpetrators is to steal the oil cargo and kidnap crew. The prompt detection and response to any unauthorised movements of an anchored vessel could help in the effective response to such attacks,” commented an IMB spokesperson.
Nigeria piracy hotspot
Nigeria alone recorded 22 incidents. Of the 11 vessels fired upon worldwide, eight were off Nigeria – including a 300,000 MT deadweight VLCC tanker more than 40nm off Brass.
“Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea are against all vessels. Crews have been taken hostage and kidnapped from fishing and refrigerated cargo vessels as well as product tankers. In some cases, the attacks have been avoided by the early detection of an approaching skiff, evasive action taken by the vessel and the effective use of citadels. The IMB is working with national and regional authorities in the Gulf of Guinea to support ships and coordinate counter piracy actions. The authorities from Benin, Nigeria and Togo have sent out boats in response to several incidents,” said an IMB spokesperson.
Somali risk remains
One incident was reported off Somalia, where a product tanker was fired upon and chased by two skiffs around 160nm SE of Hobyo. At the end of March, a 160,000 DWT tanker reported being fired upon in the Gulf of Aden, while transiting within the Maritime Security Transit Corridor. The distance from land, sighting of ladders and firing upon ships continues to illustrate that the Somali pirates retain the capability and intent to attack merchant shipping in the wider Indian Ocean.
Indonesia recorded nine low level attacks against anchored vessels. Five bulk carriers reported actual or attempted attacks at Muara Berau anchorage in Samarinda, while waiting to load coal cargoes.
Saudi Arabian owner says cargo unaffected after militia targeted tanker.
Nobody is reported injured as crew seeks refuge in the ship’s citadel.
The US renewed for one year the national emergency according to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, to deal with the security situation and the persistence of violence in Somalia, as well as the acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia.
Unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the deterioration of the security situation and the persistence of violence in Somalia, acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia — which have repeatedly been the subject of United Nations Security Council resolutions — and violations of the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
On 2012, the US took additional measures to address:
- Exports of charcoal from Somalia, which generate significant revenue for al‑Shabaab;
- The misappropriation of Somali public assets;
- Certain acts of violence committed against civilians in Somalia, all of which worsen the security situation and the persistence of violence in Somalia.
According to the White House, the situation in Somalia threaten the US security and its foreign policy. For this reason, the national emergency declared on April 12, 2010, and the measures adopted on that date and on July 20, 2012, must continue beyond April 12, 2018.
Mr. Trump said:
In accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13536.