Maintaining Vigilance Despite High Risk Area Reduction

Official maritime groups and organizations have set specific global coordinates that covers areas wherein piracy is at all-time high. This information is a clear precautionary measure for seafarers, no matter what cargo vessel they are manning.

Recent shipping industry experience, extensive consultation with government entities (through the diplomatic Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia) and military naval forces (including NATO, Combined Maritime Forces, and EU NAVFOR), which continue to provide vital protection to shipping, all agreed that the cases of piracy have significantly decreased in some areas of concern. In line with this, organizations representing maritime and oil industry have announced that the size of the High Risk Area for piracy in the Indian Ocean to be reduced along with the issuance of new guidelines for merchant ship operators.

Despite all of this improvement, groups of shipping and oil industry organizations (comprising of BIMCO, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Intercargo, INTERTANKO and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF)) have concluded that the threat remains and safety efforts must be sustained. Correct reporting and maintaining proper focus on every threat that arises should never be left out of the picture whatever happens.

Each crew of the maritime ship must have high regards to how crucial vigilance is, and apply the necessary skills they learned from their maritime safety training in the Philippines on the shipping vessel’s daily operation. It is important that all actual, attempted, and suspicious piracy act and armed robbery incidents must be reported to the right governing body. This is an essential (and most important) first step in the response chain and to encourage proactive approach by government and law enforcement of the sea agencies. The risk of piracy remains, and members should continue to exercise vigilance when trading to and through affected regions.

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