BIMCO seminar seeks to boost international security discussions

Overview

Efforts to reduce piracy in Gulf of Guinea have so far had little effect. The world’s biggest economies are strengthening their military presence in Southeast Asia, and meanwhile, the security situation in the Red Sea off Yemen remain volatile. On 9 October BIMCO will shed light on the international security situation to raise awareness and stimulate discussions.

While overall there is less piracy in the world today than previously, the nature of today’s piracy is more dangerous, according to Dirk Fry, Director of Columbia Shipmanagement ltd. and Head of BIMCO’s Security Committee.

Seeking prevention

Pointing out that piracy levels have greatly reduced in areas such as the Strait of Malacca and the Somali Basin, Dirk Fry says that such success stories are only possible if tremendous efforts are put behind.

“There will always be areas where piracy takes place. Our aim must be to reduce it to the absolute minimum,” says Dirk Fry and continues:

“There is no magic wand that can make it go away. We must react quickly if we become aware that danger is developing somewhere. We must be more preventive. That goes all the way from the senior management of companies to local law enforcement authorities and the international community to work together on this mission,” Dirk Fry says.

BIMCO’s 2nd Maritime Security Seminar can help ignite the discussion about the current security situation as well as approaches to it, Jakob P. Larsen, BIMCO’s Head of Maritime Security points out.

“The political and security situation in some regions of the world is complex, and this is some of the things that we will discuss at the seminar. We will be discussing how the power dynamics and security dynamics work in the affected countries, and what that means when it comes to options and limitations to influence the problems,” Jakob P. Larsen says.

Different approaches are needed

Each year, seafarers are hurt around the world, including in West Africa, ships are delayed and damaged and goods of great value are stolen. This hurts the involved seafarers, the affected companies and the local economies.

Periodically, international navies are present in the area but there has been little direct international naval support to local anti-piracy operations in Gulf of Guinea. Local navies do what they can, but resources are scarce, especially when it comes to policing the areas outside regional jurisdiction, according to Jakob P. Larsen.

"Therefore, we need to discuss how we can strengthen the international cooperation to eradicate piracy as much as possible in all parts of the world. Judging from the current situation, we need to do something different than what we are doing today," he says.

The BIMCO Maritime Security Seminar will provide a forum for key shipping industry and government stakeholders to discuss maritime security threats based on the latest updates given by experts, who are recognised specialists in their area. The seminar will offer insight into geopolitical developments covering the Persian Gulf, SE Asia, the Gulf of Guinea and the Arctic.

Speakers will include Jim Bergeron, Chief Political Advisor to Commander, NATO Allied Maritime Command; Colonel Mark Totten, EU NAVFOR Chief of Staff; Senior Colonel Jiyu Zhang from People’s Liberation Army, China; BIMCO’s own experts and many more.

Mette Kronholm Frænde
in Copenhagen, DK

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