Singapore Piracy Brief May 2012 - Latest update and Importance of whole hearted implementation John Boreman, Marine Director, INTERTANKO .
INTERTANKO - Piracy INTERTANKO remain committed to :- • The safety of crews and vessels in piracy prone areas • The eradication of piracy Worldwide • Lobbying for increased Political Will to act • Supporting Seafarers, Owners, Governments, Military and all parties in the fight • Maintaining the ability to make lawful payment of ransoms • Promoting and advancing BMP and the need to maintain naval assets within the region
INTERTANKO - Presently Six merchant vessels held with 148 crew, includes two chemical tankers. • In total over 200 hostages held • Immediate Issues :- • Complacency / Compliance • PAST’s influence on reporting and BMP • PAST’s and fishermen • Lobbying for action and naval assets • Maintaining the ability to make lawful payment of ransoms • West Africa and increasing attacks
INTERTANKO - Ransoms After the London Conference in February 2012, organized by David Cameron, the UK & US made a statement proposing to curtail ransom payments. • Our position based on ransoms being lawful and the ultimate sanction to protect our seafarers from harm • RT / SOS Letters to HMG • UK proposed an International Task Force to “stop” ransom payments • Industry engaged in meetings to draw up terms of reference for the task force with difficulties
INTERTANKO – Ransom Policy • The proposal here is to draw up a clear INTERTANKO policy, our proposal is that :- • We need to maintain the ability to make the lawful payment of ransoms
INTERTANKO – End of Piracy It is clear that :- • Piracy in the Indian Ocean will only be totally eradicated with solutions ashore • It is unlikely to be fixed in the short term • We must maintain our efforts and ensure no complacency creeps in The London Conference in February demonstrated that politicians are focussing on Somalia – 55 Flag States
INTERTANKO - Piracy Despite reduced attacks this first quarter, pirates are still there, tenacious and hungry
PIRACY – plain facts EUNAVFOR Somali based statistics for previous years – recent figures reduced (50%), but concern that there is under-reporting CLEAR MESSAGE - DO NOT DROP YOUR GUARD There is concern about BMP compliance – positive and proactive implementation required. NOTE: GULF OF GUINEA ATTACKS INCREASING AND VIOLENT
PIRACY – Long Road • ATTACKS ARE DOWN, BUT NOT FULLY UNDERSTOOD WHY, RECENTLY AQUIRED FURTHER MOTHERSHIPS (DHOWS)? • MORE UNSUCCESSFUL BOARDINGS – CITADELS (70%) & INTERVENTIONS (IRANIAN) • MILITARY ASSETS IN REGION HIGH WITH EXTENDED MANDATE. LONDON CONFERENCE BUILDING ASHORE. • INCREASING USE OF ARMED GUARDS 1 IN 3 NOW !? • MANY FLOATING ARSENALS - ALL WILL BE ILLEGAL • MSC WILL DEAL WITH ACCREDITATION OF OF PRIVATE MARITIME SECURITY COMPANIES (PMSC’S) • GULF OF GUINEA & INCREASING ATTACKS – UNDER-REPORTING
What next? Maintain the Focus on • EXTENDED MANDATE ON COAST • THOROUGH AND THOUGHTFUL APPLICATION OF BMP, DON’T STAND STILL – adapt it to circumstances - GET IT RIGHT • UNDERSTAND THAT THE THREAT IS STILL VERY REAL, DESPITE FALLING SUCCESSES – BEWARE COMPLACENCY • GOOD REPORTING IS ESSENTIAL – BEFORE ENTRY, WRT PACSP’S, RE. INCIDENTS • NAVAL FORCES NEED EVIDENCE TO SUCCESSFULLY DETAIN PIRATES – PHOTO’S AND STATEMENTS • ENSURE CREW WELL TRAINED, MOTIVATED, FOCUSSED, AND SUPPORTED – KEY TO EVERYTHING – APPLYING BMP FULLY
Issue - Fishermen or Pirate Skiffs? • RECENT INCIDENTS AND REPORTS INDICATE FISHERMEN ARE BEING TARGETED MISTAKENLY WITH FATAL RESULTS • UNDERSTANDABLE CONFUSION, PARTICULARLY AS SOME FISHERMEN ARMED &CREWS VERY MUCH ON EDGE • INDUSTRY / NAVIES PREPARING INFO & AIDS TO HELP • VESSELS BEING ADVISED, BUT CAN WE GET ADVICE TO FISHERMEN AS FREQUENTLY APPROACH VESSELS? • IF SAFE, BE READY TO TAKE PICTURES, FORWARD TO UKMTO. • OF COURSE - BIG PART FOR RULES FOR USE OF FORCE – GUARDCON recently provides worthwhile guidance
CONTINUED NEED FOR BMP The numbers of operational PAG’s, the capabilities within them and the appetite to succeed, has in no way diminished - EUNAVFOR The threat to merchant shipping hasn’t decreased. The number of successful hijackings is lower because Military forces more successfully containing pirate operations, restricting their freedom of movement at sea and deterring a lot of attacks, while BMP compliance and increasing PASC’s deployment are also contributing to the pirate success ratio. Scope / reach of pirates changes – BUT REMAINS VERY WIDE. Mother ships are the key, nowhere is safe as Dhows & FV’s continue to be taken. Latest intelligence must be used. Weather significant influence. Industry has been a key player in BMP and we are now using version 4. We will continue to learn and strengthen our response. DO NOT TAKE THE MINIMUM. Calls to make mandatory are initiated by poor implementation.
ASSESSING BMP – COMPLIANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION As in all routines, there is a danger of complacency as time passes. Masters, Shipping Companies, and Associations need to maintain high attention to detail to ensure all possible measures maintained Tools to help can be pre-transit checklists, briefings and even pre-transit audits, particularly if using armed guards. Monitoring MSCHOA reporting is an indicator of compliance and monthly reports are compiled, but positive reporting between Masters and Superintendents is more effective. Don’t forget periods in anchorages – maintain hardening and vigilence! Important to look for opportunities to improve
PIRACY – KEEPING SAFE WHAT CAN WE DO AS OWNERS :- Ensure Owners are kept up to date, intelligence makes a difference High BMP compliance, advise ships, contact owners Clear reporting on use of armed guards PAST discourage some aspects of BMP Careful risk assessment Make full use of guidelines - particularly on citadels Look for improvements to equipment to prevent boarding Look for innovation in ship design Lobby Governments for regional assets to combat the scourge Report incidents promptly and openly INTERTANKO will continue to look for higher protection
PIRACY BMP COMPLIANCE :- BMP compliance crops up continuously in meetings with Military and Government. INTERTANKO will follow up on all known NC. Figures tend to indicate high non-conformance, but better understanding of statistics required. Up to 30% non adherence – difficult to figure! There are ships out of the mainstream that still do not appreciate BMP req. ALL OF US HAVE A DUTY IN SPREADING THE MESSAGE. Emerging debate on speed when using armed guards and extent of HRA, BMP clearly recommends full sea spd up to 18 kts – Pirate reach is wide. Look to the Iceberg – two years in captivity – incentive to get BMP right!
PIRACY - REPORTING CLEAR PICTURE AT SEA - call UKMTO freely :- There has been a rapid proliferation in the use of armed guards which brings risks and complications. In order to manage the situation it is important to have a clear view of what is happening at the sharp end. Support with pictures. Companies and Masters must report both positively and negatively in order that a true picture is built, and subsequently any issues can be addressed. It appears that the use of armed guards is very much under reported and a worry is that this applies to incidents. WHY? INTERTANKO will continue to promote open reporting
PIRACY – action on many fronts Successes due to multi-facetted approach UNPCS :- Working Group 1 - responsible for ensuring effective naval operational co-ordination and supporting the building of the judicial, penal and maritime capacity of Regional States. Working Group 2 - providing specific, practical and legally sound guidance to the CGPCS, States and organizations on all legal aspects . Working Group 3 - "BMP", self-defense practices for world shipping, welfare of seafarers, armed guards. Presently - mainly PMSC guidance. Working Group 4 - public diplomacy aspect of the problem of combating piracy off the coast of Somalia within Somalia. Working Group 5 - coordinates international efforts to identify and disrupt the financial networks of pirate leaders and their financiers. The money.
PIRACY – Where are we NEXT? • Citadels :- • Actual use of – limited information, indication of poor arrangements. NEED to be better and watch for escalation. • Industry issued guidelines – Owners decision – need of rescue a possibility • Various degrees of take up on guidance – now see rec. for 3 day citadels • Breach of citadel could have very poor consequences • Escalation – cutting equip., smoke out, damage, fire on board, cargo! • New builds – some Companies and Yards considering • EU looking and testing innovative schemes • Increasing harm to Crew • Worry that crew are being threatened more . • Threat to crew if more force is directed in the coastal region. • VPD’s • Believe have great benefit to protect WFP ships and free resources, but unlikely to expand apart from special ships. Some countries only allow VPD • Ship Design • Can we better keep pirates off ships or provide more restricted access?
PIRACY - FUTURE • UNCERTAIN FUTURE :- • Present problem is unlikely to be resolved in the short term with ships remaining vulnerable to changing tactics. Increased mandate may help. • Armed guards are a temporary solution, BUT in future ships will need to take increased precautions compared to earlier times. • Long term, we need to look more closely at the effect on crew, improved equipment, seek out innovative design solutions. • We need to be clear that piracy is a lucrative business with determined people who will adjust their tactics to maintain their gain, possibly with escalating consequences. NOTE: regional differences • Present Geo-Politics suggest uncertainty - withdrawing ransoms no solution – eradicate the source - first priority must be the safety of crew.