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Shipping sector appeals to public for action against piracy
Release time :2011-04-23 | viewed:701

A GROUP representing international shipping interests, including management and labour, presented six demands to the public in hopes of creating the political will in government to suppress piracy off the coast of Somalia.

  The SOS Save Our Seafarers campaign's leading sponsors are the Baltic International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Shipping Federation (ISF), Intercargo, INTERTANKO and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF).

  "Enough is enough," said a campaign statement, in announcing its steps to advertise in major media. "Over 800 seafarers are held hostage. Even when caught red handed, 80 per cent of pirates are released to attack again. Why? Because politicians don't realise the severity of this situation. Their brief to naval forces is to deter and disrupt unless it involves a national interest."

  Specifically, the SOS Save Our Seafarers campaign, wants to reduce the effectiveness of "easily-identifiable pirate motherships". It also wants to authorise naval forces to detain pirates and deliver them for prosecution and punishment.

  It also wants to criminalise acts of piracy and intent to commit piracy under national laws in accordance with individual nations "mandatory duty to co-operate to suppress piracy under international conventions".

  It also demands an increase in the naval presence as well as providing greater protection and support for seafarers. The ad hoc sector-wide group also seeks to criminalise the organisers and financiers behind the pirate networks.

  "Shipowners and seafarers are calling on "people power" to push governments to show the political will to resolve the growing Somali piracy crisis before it strangles world trade," said the statement issued to local media by the Hong Kong Shipowners Association.
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