Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NATO & Maritime Industry Conference Press Release

NATO forges closer links with maritime industry to fight piracy

Yesterday, the NATO Shipping Centre hosted a seminar at the Transport Security Expo and Conference at Olympia. The seminar, Dedicated to Hardening Vessels Against Attacks by Pirates, was a unique opportunity for delegates from various maritime organisations to take part in a tactical exercise following a vessel’s voyage from Rotterdam to the Gulf of Aden where pirate attempted to seize it.

Cdr Stein Olav Hagalid, Head of the NATO Shipping Centre and one of the seminar facilitators said:“I’m really pleased that so many people were able to come and participate in this event. It was a great opportunity for people from all areas of the maritime industry to come together and discuss piracy. I feel sure that everyone left with a much better understanding of how piracy affects different organisations and how we all ensure that we do as much as we can to deter, disrupt and protect vessels and crew from pirate attacks.”

Over 100 delegates took part in the exercise which also gave them the chance to ask questions of the panel which included Commodore Steve Chick who was until July 2010, the Commander of NATO’s counter piracy mission, Operation Ocean Shield. Cdre Chick was able to give the naval point of view and explain how the naval forces in the area can help and what constraints they sometimes have to work under.

Another panel member, Captain Sunil Mani from BW Maritime who was the Master of a ship which was subjected to a pirate attack in the Somali Basin in 2009 was able to relate his experience of pirates. Having been through an attack, he was able to describe the best management practices such as water hoses rigged, razor wire around the vessel and a lookout in place that he put in place to ensure that he and his crew were able to repel the pirates.

Notes to editors

1. Transport Security Expo is the only dedicated event focusing on the on-going global threat and security issues facing the Aviation, Maritime and Supply Chain Industries.

It hosts a series high level conferences alongside the exhibition focusing on Aviation, Maritime and Supply Chain security. The Maritime security conferences for 2010 are run in conjunction with NATO and The International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

2. The third edition of Best Management Practices (BMP3) has attempted to focus much more on the seafarer. The document has now been produced as a pocket-sized booklet. Reflecting the increased geographical spread of piracy into the Indian Ocean, BMP3 includes the expansion of the High Risk Area beyond the Gulf of Aden, to an area bounded by Suez to the North, 10o South and 78o East. BMP3 contains further advice on Ship Protection Measures and a copy of the UKMTO Vessel Position Reporting Form. For the first time, separate advice has been added for the fishing industry.

3. More information about the NATO Shipping Centre and the Transport Security seminar can be found on their website