On Tuesday, Singapore-based ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre’s Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference 2018 was held in Hong.
Together with co-organizers BIMCO and INTERTANKO, this year’s agenda was entitled “Counter Piracy: Proactive Response” to reinforce the message that now is not the time to be complacent despite the success achieved in reducing the number of piracy and sea robbery incidents over the decade.
“This year’s ReCAAP ISC Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference addresses developing situations in the Sulu-Celebes Seas, the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, as well as pertinent topics such as oil cargo theft and the situation of armed robbery against ships in Indonesia,” said Masafumi Kuroki, executive director of ReCAAP ISC
In bringing the Conference to Hong Kong, ReCAAP ISC said it hoped to engage the shipping community in China and foster a dialogue between the shipping industry and regional authorities, for the welfare of seafarers and the safety of sea lanes.
Jacob Paaske Larsen, head of security for BIMC insisted that piracy and armed robbery at sea remains a major concern to seafarers and the shipping industry.
“In order to keep up with the ever-developing threat, we need to continuously improve our cooperation, processes and procedures. The key to our success includes that anti-piracy lessons learnt from across the globe are shared. By doing this, measures which have proven successful in reducing piracy and armed robbery at sea in one region can be recognised, developed and adapted to other regions.
“This conference is exactly the right platform to share knowledge and work together to reduce piracy and armed robbery at sea,” he told the audience, including the Philippine Coast Guard, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Indonesia’s BAKAMLA, EU NAVFOR (Horn of Africa), MDAT-GoG (Gulf of Guinea), and the domestic shipping industry.
“Piracy and armed robbery around the globe takes many forms and is proving very hard to eradicate. By looking at what works we can see that the Asian model of a coordinated response, backed by proper intelligence, provides a good template for how to deal with this scourge. Those hard won lessons are now being applied to the new threats that the shipping industry is facing off Yemen,” said Dr Phillip Belcher, INTERTANKO’s marine director.
ReCAAP ICS’ latest report issued 8 June noted:
A total of eight incidents of armed robbery against ships—comprising six actual incidents and two attempted incidents—were reported in Asia in May 2018
Compared to April 2018, the number of incidents reported in May 2018 has remained fairly consistent
Of the eight incidents reported in May 2018, two incidents occurred on board ships while underway and six incidents on board ship at anchor
Of the six actual incidents reported in May 2018, one was a CAT 2 incident, one was a CAT 3 incident and four were CAT 4 incidents
There was no CAT 1 incident and majority of the incidents were CAT 4 (petty theft cases)
No piracy incident was reported
There was also no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and no hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo