INTERCARGO is deeply concerned with the latest piracy incident off Nigeria. As reported, a 57k dwt bulk carrier, while en route from Lagos to Port Harcourt, was attacked by pirates 35 miles south of Brass, Nigeria on December 14 and was held under their control. Before the ship was released, the pirates kidnapped 10 crewmembers, including officers, and fled.
The seafarers are reportedly still held by the pirates. As the world and the shipping community are starting celebrations for the new year, 10 fellow seafarers remain in the hands of criminals. Our thoughts are with the seafarers, their families and their loved ones.
The above incident is a vivid reminder that piracy as an organised criminal activity remains a significant threat to international shipping, trade, and the people who serve it. It must be ensured that there is no relaxation or step back in the measures in place against piracy; moreover, efforts and necessary resources fighting piracy must be upgraded primarily in the most vulnerable regions, such as West Africa, the Gulf of Aden, and South East Asian sea corridors.
INTERCARGO has been participating throughout 2017 in numerous industry meetings and initiatives with all the involved stakeholders to ensure that industry guidelines remain relevant and that optimal countermeasures are duly allocated in the coming years, in sea and on land as required, to eradicate the plague of modern piracy.