November 21, 2008
BIMCO piracy alert: Route ships East of Madagascar
BIMCO has issued a piracy alert that says that while vulnerable ships should be routed via the Cape it "is acutely aware that pirates will identify this action and swiftly relocate onto the traditional direct trade route via the Comoros Gap (where the Sirius Star was attacked)" between Madagascar and the African mainland.
BIMCO has advised members urgently to route vessels east of Madagascar and to use varying routes to maximize the sea area to hide during transit.
BIMCO is also urging the international community to coordinate naval assets to maximize deterrent value in the GOA area. Though navies have succeeded in reducing the numbers of successful hijackings from some 53% of all attacks in August to 31% of all attacks in October, this remains an unacceptably high percentage.
To be used effectively, the growing number of warships and helicopters deployed to the region must be coordinated by one organization. BIMCO is asking the UN Security Council to address this comprehensively and says that the successful coordination of naval units is the only way that the GOA route can be opened up again safely to international trade, avoiding unwanted costs to the international community. BIMCO says such cooperation is the only way to maintain the traditional trading patterns of those nations that rely on maritime trade in the region to conduct business.
BIMCO is an independent international shipping association, with a membership composed of ship owners, managers, brokers, agents and many other stakeholders with vested interests in the shipping industry.
You can access the BIMCO advisory here.