Members have faced a challenging security environment in recent years, with piracy, fraud and other maritime crime likely to pose further challenges in 2015.
The Association is grateful to Dryad Maritime for contributing to this update. Maritime crime figures for 2014.
Crime, fraud, piracy and security issues continue to present a very challenging safety environment for the shipping industry. In 2014 there were numerous events and issues which again focused attention on the need to prioritise safety at sea beyond the traditional risks encountered in the marine environment.
These events included the conflict in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, the continuation of the civil war in Syria, the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, political instability and violence in Libya and Yemen as well as more violent piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. In 2014 there was also an Asian resurgence for pirate attacks, particularly focusing on the theft of petroleum products from smaller parcel carriers.
Dryad Maritime have provided an overview of maritime crime figures for the year 2014, and the full report as well as infographics are available from their website. Highlights of the report include:
Gulf of Guinea
While there was an overall reduction in the number of incidents in 2014 compared to 2013, there was a significant increase in attacks involving kidnapping of crew. This was noted particularly in areas of the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone. This is expected to be a continuing trend in to 2015.
Horn of Africa
Somali piracy appears to have continued its significant decline in the last two years, but the situation on the ground which contributed to the problem remains relatively unchanged. If companies continue to utilise the resources and employ the practices that helped to contain piracy in this region then 2015 may present a similar picture to that of 2014.
An area of concern, as 2014 saw a further double digit increase in reported maritime crime as compared to 2014. A significant contributor was the sudden spurt of hijacking attacks for fuel theft purposes. Theft and robbery issues also continue to be an issue in this part of the world.
Risk management advice
An appreciation of the nature of the risks faced by shipping, particularly the regional variations, as well as continued vigilance will be key to managing these risks.
It would for instance be a risk to consider the issue of Gulf of Aden / Somali piracy to be resolved and longer a serious threat. Should discipline and commitment to deploying appropriate resources wane, then the pirates will be ready to exploit the situation and once again successfully capture vessels.
Following the BMP 4, as well as other advice, continues to be highly recommended. Before and during each voyage, appropriate risk assessments need to be undertaken and the necessary resources employed to ensure that vessels maintain a sufficient level of readiness to deter and meet the risks they may face.
Fully appreciating the usefulness of the ISPS Code in maintaining ship side security is also very important.
Skuld has published detailed advice and information on these issues that will assist Members in managing these risks. (Ast)