The European shipping industry urges the EU to bolster maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea

October 17, 2019

The Gulf of Guinea remains a high-risk area for piracy and armed robbery.

European shipowners are extremely concerned about the escalating rate of piracy incidents and the continued levels of violence in the Gulf of Guinea.

The latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB)’s Piracy & Armed Robbery Report demonstrates that the Gulf of Guinea has become increasingly dangerous for seafarers. In the first nine months of 2019, the region accounts for 86% of the 49 crew taken hostage and 82% of the 70 crew kidnapped globally.

“The perilous circumstances in the Gulf of Guinea raise alarm bells for the safety and security of seafarers sailing through that area,” commented Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General.

“The threats are also putting at risk trade and development both in the region and globally. It is time EU Member States step up their efforts to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf.”

ECSA calls upon the European policymakers to adopt a number of measures outlined in its recently adopted position paper, so that vessels and crew can operate in a safe and secure environment. The EU’s engagements with the coastal states and its Member States’ active contributions outside territorial waters – such as the deployment of warships – are much needed to mitigate the current situation.

Download ECSA position paper on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea.

European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) press release