ICS statement on recent attacks against commercial ships transiting the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

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The International Chamber of Shipping has serious concerns regarding the recent attacks against commercial ships transiting the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

In all cases, these vessels are conducting their right of freedom of navigation and innocent passage. The attacks are a flagrant breach of international law and maritime norms by paramilitary forces in Yemen.

These attacks must stop immediately, and the innocent seafarers released.

The cost to the safety and well-being of the seafarers on board those ships while in the service of global trade being embroiled in these attacks should not be underestimated.

Industry has issued routing guidance for ships in the region, and it is strongly urged that any vessel transiting these waters conduct a thorough threat and risk assessment, taking into account guidance from their flag State and P&I Club.

Nevertheless, commercial ships’ self-protection measures against a well-armed and capable antagonist can only go so far, and ICS firmly believe that the well-developed maritime security architecture in the region should continue to be maximised to ensure that no other ships and their crew fall victim to such aggression.

Furthermore, noting the complexity of the situation, ICS would call on those States that have influence in the region to use everything within their power to maintain freedom of navigation, and dissuade the antagonists from persisting in this aggressive and illegal action that disrupts trade, and victimises innocent seafarers.

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