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100 shipping firms, others sign pact to tackle piracy

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Following the reports that about 95 per cent of sea piracy happened in the Gulf of Guinea in 2020, about 100 shipping companies, organisations and flag states have signed a new declaration calling for an end to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

The violence, scope and sophistication of the attacks on shipping have continued to increase and now take place across an area of more than 200 nautical miles from the pirate bases that are principally within the Niger Delta, as reported in the declaration.

World Maritime News reports that the co-signatories have called all stakeholders to join their efforts in reducing the number of attacks by pirates from current levels by at least 80 per cent and that not even one seafarer should be kidnapped from ships in the preceding 12-month period.

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According to an international shipping association, BIMCO, one of the co-signatories of the declaration, two frigates with helicopters and one aircraft could help ensure the necessary patrolling in the area south of Nigeria, where the attacks are particularly prevalent.

Danish Shipping together with AP Moller-Maersk, TORM, DS Norden and Maersk Tankers from Denmark will also be contributing, by sending a frigate to that area in the autumn.

CEO of Danish Shipping, Anne Steffensen, said: “We are facing an acute security problem in the Gulf of Guinea, and the international community needs to act if we are to reduce the number of attacks on the merchant navy and the kidnapping of seafarers in the area.

“I hope that with this call we can get more countries to speak out and get more people to take on their share of the security task. Denmark cannot take this big task alone, so more people both in and outside the region must follow suit.

“Otherwise, creating better security for seafarers in the area will just happen too slowly,” Steffensen said.

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