MSC 83 - Piracy and armed robbery against ships

The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) noted an increase of 7.5% in piracy and armed robbery incidents for the period 1 October 2006 – 30 June 2007 over the same period in the previous year, largely attributable to incidents in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, and off the coast of West Africa.


Most of the attacks worldwide occurred, or had been attempted in, territorial waters while the ships were at anchor or berthed. During the period under review, the Committee noted that 26 crew members were killed, 58 crew members were assaulted/injured and 133 crew members were taken hostage. Eleven ships were hijacked and one vessel and its crew are still missing.


The Committee expressed deep concern over the severity of the violent attacks against the crews and urged governments to intensify and coordinate their efforts to combat such acts of violence. The Committee also reiterated its request for Member States to provide reports to the IMO on action taken by their governments in response to incidents reported to have occurred in their territorial waters.


Initiatives to counter piracy and armed robbery were noted by the Committee and include: Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP); IMO/MOWCA (Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa) integrated coast guard project; the initiatives of the IMO Secretary-General to counter acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships transiting off the coast of Somalia (see Weekly NEWS No. 27/2007 of 6 July 2007); and the Yemen Seminar and Oman Workshop.


Contact: Minerva R. Alfonso