Some of the world’s most influential maritime organizations have created a campaign to raise awareness regarding the social and economic costs of piracy and urge international governments to take a firmer stand against increasing Somali pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
The campaign, called Save our Seafarers, comes in the wake of escalating violence against mariners, including the murder of four Americans aboard a private yacht and the recent hijack of a yacht with a Danish family, including three teenage children.
The organizations involved include The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), BIMCO, International Chamber of Shipping, INTERTANKO and Intercargo.
The Save our Seafarers campaign hopes to raise awareness of piracy through a use of its website, saveourseafarers.com, social media, including Facebook and Twitter, and a letter writing campaign. You can send a pre-formatted letter to your respective head of state through the website.
The letter calls on government to:
- Reduce the effectiveness of the easily identifiable motherships
- Authorize naval forces to hold pirates and deliver them for prosecution and punishment
- Increase naval assets available in this area
- Provide greater protection and support for seafarers
- Trace and criminalize the organizers and financiers behind the criminal networks.
According to an economic impact analysis by Oceans Beyond Piracy, a project of the One Earth Foundation, the costs of piracy in 2010 to the global economy were between $7 billion to $12 billion. The analysis factors in ransom costs, insurance premiums, costs of naval forces and security equipment, re-routing of ships to avoid pirate-infested waters, prosecutions, anti-piracy organizations and cost to regional economies.
The One Earth Foundation is a private organization formed by Marcel Arsenault, a real estate investor and chairman, CEO and founder of Colorado & Santa Fe. Arsenault, who holds a B.S. degree from McGill University and later pursued a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Colorado, was the founder of Mountain High Yoghurt, a national brand he later sold to Beatrice Foods.