September 21, 2010
Container giants coordinate antipiracy efforts
As NATO warned of another pirate mother ship on the prowl, the world's three largest container shipping companies -- CMA CGM, MSC and Maersk Line -- said they are to cooperate in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The cooperation includes information exchange on safety measures, piracy policies and procedures as well as coordination to ensure the issue is addressed with all relevant stakeholders.
"Our first and foremost concern is the safety and security of our crews. Piracy continues to be a problem for the shipping industry and if we want to address it effectively, we as shipowners must cooperate," CMA CGM, MSC and Maersk Line said in a joint statement.
Underscoring the continued danger from pirates, NATO warned this morning that the hijacked fishing vessel PRANTALAY 14 left Garacad anchorage in Somalia yesterday with three skiffs and three ladders sighted on board. NATO warned that the vessel is probably involved in mother ship operations.
The three container giants agree on the importance of the Best Management Practices for safe sailing in the area where Somali pirates continue to attack and hijack vessels.
"Following the Anti-Piracy Best Management Practice is an important step in preventing hijackings and we fully support the use and further development of the BMP," they said.
The three companies say they welcome and support the international community's efforts to fight the problem of piracy in terms of the naval presence in the Gulf of Aden and the pursuit of appropriate legal frameworks to ensure pirates are prosecuted and held responsible for their crimes.
"The root causes of this problem cannot be addressed overnight. Therefore, it is imperative that the naval forces have a strong and dynamic mandate to match the constantly changing situation in the area. It is also vital that the acts of piracy do not go unpunished, which is why appropriate legal frameworks for prosecuting pirates are needed," CMA CGM, MSC and Maersk Line said.
CMA CGM, MSC and Maersk Line also support proposals for regional capacity building to address the issue such as a regional coast guard and possible transit corridors to East Africa.