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Friday, October 19, 2018

INTERTANKO calls for action on piracy off West Africa

INTERTANKO is shocked and appalled by the report of the Chief Officer who lost his life during a pirate attack on the tanker Cancale Star off Cotonou on 24 November. The Association and its Members express their condolences to his family and colleagues.


INTERTANKO notes with deep concern the continuing violent piracy activity in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly off Nigeria and Benin. This situation must not continue unchecked. We appreciate the huge commitment and dedication by naval forces to date in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia, and the commitment made by the countries bordering the Singapore Straits to combat piracy, but action also needs to be taken off West Africa. 


We call on the nations of the world to unite and work together against the scourge of piracy, not just in this region but globally. This may be through diplomatic efforts, and/or through helping to increase the provision of naval forces or other assets in the region, in order to protect our shipping lanes so that these vital arteries can continue unhindered to carry the world’s trade.


We call on national governments and the relevant international governmental organisations to take all necessary steps to ensure that protection against criminal acts and piracy is afforded to innocent merchant shipping as it goes about its lawful business. Governments should note IMO Circular (MSC.1/Circ.1333 dated 26.06.09) giving recommendations to Governments for preventing and suppressing piracy and armed robbery against ships.


We call on all ship operators to report incidents to their flag state so that the real picture emerges and so that lessons learned are used to take appropriate action to deter, delay and prevent such activities in the future.


We call on all the participants in the chain of shipping responsibility -  regulators and administrators including the IMO and the EU, insurers and underwriters, port states and class societies, port agents, Interpol and others - to play their part.


For our part we at INTERTANKO are working even more closely with our industry partners to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to protect our seafarers, who remain our primary concern, as well as our ships and their cargoes.


“The world as we know it depends on ability of ship and seafarer to provide ongoing safe transport for global seaborne trade,” says INTERTANKO Chairman Capt Graham Westgarth. “Our greatest assets are our seafarers, whose safety is paramount – and without whom world trade would grind to a halt. Seafarers need to be able to ply their trade safely without fear of violent acts by pirates.”


Finally we recommend that those with ships trading in any part of the world where there is a risk of pirate attack should note IMO Circular (MSC.1/Circ.1334 dated 23.06.09) giving general guidance to ship owners and operators, shipmasters and crews, on preventing and suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships.



Bill Box, Communications & Public Relations Manager


Phone: +44 20 7977 7023