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Call for action to fight maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea

13 Jun 2019

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) hosted a recent symposium on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea aimed at tackling the continuing high level of piracy and armed robbery in the region. Figures from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) show that the number of attacks in the region doubled in 2018, with an increase in kidnapping for ransom and armed robbery. A piracy expert estimated that approximately 10 groups of pirates were responsible for the majority of attacks.

The event was co-sponsored by shipping industry bodies, including the ITF, flag states and agencies from the Gulf of Guinea. Branko Berlan, the ITF’s representative to the IMO, conducted an interview at the symposium with a seafarer who had been attacked and kidnapped in a recent incident in the region .

Dr Dakuku Peterside of the Nigerian Maritime Authority and Safety Agency stated there were new initiatives under way to improve the joint capacity of Nigerian law enforcement and Navy capabilities and make seafarer kidnappings “history”. Alongside longer-term initiatives to prevent maritime crime in the region, the participants were keen to identify actions that can have an immediate impact.

Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping stated: “It is unacceptable that seafarers are being exposed to such appalling dangers and we need the authorities to take action now.”


All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours), email:



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