Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Piracy in West Africa


IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan and USCG’s Robert Gauvin on Piracy in West Africa

Special to Piracy Daily

Maritime piracy remains a significant problem around the world, threatening the lives of seamen while carrying a price tag of about $7 billion a year.  That sum includes both monies lost and stolen, and that spent on international security efforts that have proven to be necessary to withstand, where possible, the challenge created by these maritime marauders. Today, West African piracy seems to be eclipsing that off the coast to Somalia, although the threat in the Gulf of Aden remains real. Amidst this rise in piracy and armed robbery—31 incidents as of early August, including four hijackings— the International Maritime Bureau, or IMB, underscores the surge in kidnappings at sea, with a wide range of types of vessels being targeted.

On September 17th, International Maritime Bureau Director Pottengal Mukundan and Robert Gauvin, executive director of piracy policy at the U.S. Coast Guard, held forth in Episode No. 6 of the Piracy Daily / Maritime TV series on piracy mitigation strategies, the interview with Captain Mukundan coming first and done by Skype. Joining them in the discussion were Dr. John A.C. Cartner, the author of two invaluable works of reference, the International Law of the Shipmaster, and Defending Against Pirates, the International Law of Small Arms, Armed Guards, and Privateers, and Captain William H. Watson, the President and COO of Advanfort International, a world leader among private maritime security companies.

Click here to see the Maritime TV video

Together, the panelists literally “cover the waterfront,” and beyond, on key issues involving the uniqueness of the threat by West African pirates; the possible use of lessons learned elsewhere; the institutional challenges still faced in the region; the role that can and should be played by Private Maritime Security Companies, and other critical questions and possibilities created by a dangerous phenomenon that maritime owners, operators, and crews are all seeking to better understand as they guard against being the next victims.

READ MORE AT: http://www.piracydaily.com/interview-imb-director-pottengal-mukundan-robert-gauvin-u-s-coast-guard-director-piracy-policy/

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