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Piracy view

The spread of piracy is a problem and a major issue that is damaging world trade, according to a maritime security firm.

The Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution & Intelligence Coordination Centre (RAPPICC), a multi-national agency based in the Seychelles and largely funded by the UK government, has launched with the aim of targeting the leaders of piracy groups. The initiative launched amid worries about protection from maritime crime with the expected withdrawal of EUNAFOR naval presence from the Gulf of Aden in 2014.

Typhon, which has launched its own private service, says there is a very real problem faced by the shipping trade today. Typhon CEO Anthony Sharp says this hotspot is not the only area where the shipping industry is at risk. He also alludes to the repercussions being felt around the world due to international instability.

He says: “Although experts are now coming together to discuss key issues, what businesses need now is practical on the ground support that helps them navigate what can be very dangerous stretches of water. Business confidence is becoming severely affected, not just by Somalian piracy, but events like those taking place in a number of politically unstable geographies along key shipping routes. Regardless of the cause of unrest, the upshot is always detrimental to the growth of international trade, which in an increasingly global marketplace is a worry. There has been a rise in geopolitical uncertainty and instability that has to be countered with the free flow of goods, particularly with sea-bound transportation.

“The companies we deal with are concerned about whether they can receive a safe passage through increasingly dangerous waters. This is especially critical for those involved in the shipping of valuable cargo such as oil, whereby damage to cargo or significant delays can have huge implications further along the supply chain. Shipments have been known to get held up as a result of piracy but also through other maritime crime and conflicts.”

According to studies quantifying the cost of piracy conducted by One Earth Future (OEF) Foundation, piracy is costing the global economy between $7-12 billion per year, and the global cost of Somali piracy is between $6.6 and $6.9 billion per year. There are over 100 hostages being held by pirates.

Anthony Sharp says: “Governments have stepped up safeguards, particularly in areas where there are oil rich reserves. The enquiries we’ve had from governments and companies looking to restore stability display the real need for effective private protection. It’s imperative that they have the means through which they can reduce the risk of being targeted, which will enable a more robust and reliable method of international shipping.”


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