As the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) currently visits Nigeria to audit the country’s maritime industry, we take a look at how piracy is affecting the region and those that work at sea.
During their visit, the IMO team will be reviewing the fishing practices in the country over seven days, from the 6-13 June 2016, with the aim of improving safety and security.
The visit comes just days after Nigeria were reported to be suffering increased piracy levels, with risk analysts, Control Risks’ Maritime, releasing findings that showed piracy incidents off the Nigerian Coastline were 21% higher in the first quarter of 2016 than previous levels. The frequency of incidents was 119% higher than the first four months of 2015.
The report also revealed that an average of three kidnaps per month occurred from January to April, 2016 compared to one kidnap per month in the same period in 2015.
During the IMO’s visit, they will be auditing six key areas including safety of life at sea, standards of training, watch keeping for seafarers, tonnage measurement, and regulations for preventing collisions and pollution at sea.
In particular, the audit is aiming to rid Nigeria’s waterways of criminality – a vision that Nigeria is wholly committed to helping with.
Control Risks’ Maritime commented on the report, “Maritime operators can help to reduce the risks to their crew through a number of measures. These include having access to up to date maritime intelligence on potential regional risks; security training for crewmembers on how to respond should they be faced with a kidnap for ransom situation, and maritime security design expert support to help protect assets both onshore and offshore.” Source: Piracy and Security News
Seafarers’ Rights International has created an advice page on its website that gives more background into action being taken globally against piracy, and also outlines the actions seafarers can take to protect themselves from the risks associated with piracy.