The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has welcomed the extension of EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta, following a decision by the EU Council, which will continue to see military forces deployed for counter piracy operations in the Western Indian Ocean until December 2018.
ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe said: “The presence of military forces is an essential component of the package of government actions that has helped to suppress the activities of Somali pirates, in support of the protective measures that continue to be taken by the shipping industry. Ship operators and seafarers will be very pleased that EUNAVFOR has announced its ongoing commitment to these vital counter piracy activities.
“While other security concerns now draw the attention of the international community, it is a fact that the threat which Somali piracy presents to international trade is still extremely high, as the Secretary-General of the IMO has recently observed. Alongside a strong military deterrent, it remains essential that ships maintain compliance with the industry’s Best Management Practices to prevent a resurgence of hijacks and kidnappings by these violent criminal gangs. The extension of the EUNAVFOR mandate will also play a critical role in achieving this.”
ICS and it member national shipowner associations look forward to continuing their close co-operation with EUNAVFOR to help maintain the security of shipping and the movement of world trade along these vital sea lanes.