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Shipping Industry Urged to Boost Security Against Piracy, Armed Robbery

By MarEx 2013-01-02 09:24:00

For the year 2013, the shipping industry should continue to boost efforts to counter piracy and armed robbery, which will continue to be a threat, according to Peter M. Swift, chairman of the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP). 

Pirate attacks and armed robbery operating in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean have remained a threat for the merchant shipping community, he said.

The maritime community needs to ensure that best management practices are being implemented by shipping companies and manning agents for the welfare of the people, Swift added as reported by the Philippine News Agency. 

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) already warned that pirates are not taking their holiday and that the ships' armed personnel must remain on guard to repel pirate attacks. 

As of December 17, at least 110 crew are held hostage on board ships while 27 crew are hostage on land. Of the 27 crew detained in Somalia-  2 are Danish, 4 Filipinos, 7 Indians, 4 Koreans, 4 Thais, 5 Syrian and 1 Sri Lankan.

Vessel-type seized by pirates are roll-on/roll-off (RoRo), Dhow, container vessel, fishing vessel, chemical and crude tanker.

"MPHRP, a pan-industry alliance of ship owners, managers, manning agents, insurers, maritime unions, professional and welfare associations are working together with governmental organizations," said Swift. 

The charitable, non-political, program was formally launched in 2011 and is funded by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) Seafarers Trust, the TK Foundation and the International Group of P&I. 

This European based organization has Regional Representative Offices in the Philippines, India and the Ukraine.

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Source: OCEANUSLive.org