Security Guidance Updated for Gulf of Guinea

file photo
file photo

Published Mar 31, 2020 6:43 PM by The Maritime Executive

Industry organizations, supported by government and military organizations, have worked together to produce a new publication that will help mariners detect, deter and delay external threats to their safety. Best Management Practices to Enhance Maritime Security for Vessels & Mariners Operating Off the Coast of West Africa including the Gulf of Guinea (BMP WA) consolidates and enhances existing guidance for specific threats in this region.

The publication is free to download from www.maritimeglobalsecurity.org, which also includes links to other maritime security information useful to mariners.

“Due to the regrettable lack of efficient law enforcement especially in Eastern Gulf of Guinea, this consolidated anti-piracy guidance is a must-read for seafarers operating within reach of Nigerian pirates,” sas Angus Frew, Secretary General & CEO, BIMCO.

Despite overall piracy incidents declining in 2019, there was an alarming increase in crew kidnappings across the Gulf of Guinea, according to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) annual piracy report released in January.

In 2019, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre received 162 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide, in comparison to 201 reported incidents in 2018. The incidents included four hijacked vessels, 11 vessels fired upon, 17 attempted attacks and 130 vessels boarded. 

The number of crew kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea increased more than 50 percent from 78 in 2018 to 121 in 2019. This equates to over 90 percent of global kidnappings reported at sea with 64 crew members kidnapped across six separate incidents in the last quarter of 2019 alone. The region accounted for 64 incidents including all four vessel hijackings that occurred in 2019, as well as 10 out of 11 vessels that reported coming under fire.