Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), a project of One Earth Future Foundation, has launched the fourth installment of its annual reports detailing the economic and human costs of African maritime piracy. The study titled ‘The State of Maritime Piracy 2013’ examines the costs incurred as a result of piracy off the coast of Somalia as well as in the Gulf of Guinea.
GMI student Dirk Siebels has provided unique insights about the private maritime security industry for the report. For his PhD research about maritime security issues in East and West Africa, he is working in close cooperation with the Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) and large flag states, collecting data about armed security teams on merchant vessels.
The new OBP report finds that attacks by Somali pirates are increasingly rare an that, at between $3 billion to $3.3 billion, the overall economic costs of Somali piracy are down almost 50 percent from 2012. Regarding Africa’s west coast, this report is the first comprehensive attempt by any organisation to quantify the total economic cost of maritime piracy in that region. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea remained a significant danger in 2013, says the report, with levels perpetuated by a lack of open reporting and a lack of coordinated effort among stakeholders.
At $1 billion to $1.2 billion, the costs for security equipment and armed guards are significantly lower than in 2012 but are now the largest chunk. Moreover, they are a significant burden on the shipping industry. While there have been a lot of efforts towards regulation and certification for private maritime security companies, it is still a very young industry and only very few reliable figures are available.
‘The statistical data I have gathered together with SAMI and other sources is an invaluable contribution to ongoing discussions about private security at sea,’ says Dirk Siebels. Over the past couple of months, he has presented his research findings at various conferences and registered a lot of interest, both from the commercial sector and from government organisation.
The new OBP report ‘The State of Maritime Piracy 2013’ can be found here:
To find out more about Dirk’s research, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greenwich Maritime Institute holds a range of events, seminars and conferences including the popular Public Research Seminar Series which are held in Greenwich at monthly intervals.
Experts are invited to give a presentation on areas that relate to the three broad themes that the GMI specialises in: Maritime History, Maritime Policy and Maritime Security. Presentations are then followed by questions from the audience. Anyone is welcome to attend these free seminars although advance booking is required via Eventbrite.co.uk.
This year we are pleased to announce a variety of topics such as:
- Licensing Private Maritime Security Companies
- Navy, Identity & Leisure in 20th Century Britain
- Loss of the RB Angus
- 1412 – The Year China Discovered the World
- Designing New Vessels for 21st Century Tidal Thames
- Human Rights Considerations in the Maritime Industry
- China’s Ship Recycling
GMI Research Seminar Series 2013-14 – Download the brochure in PDF format
Congratulations to SAMI for receiving the ‘Newsmaker of the Year’ award by the Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2012.
Formed in 2011 by Peter Cook, SAMI is the first organisation introduce a level of regulatory discipline and scrutiny to ensure that the maritime industry can easily identify reputable maritime security companies. They provide reassurance and guidance, where none has existed before and establishes the benchmark for standards within the industry. Prior to the UK’s decision to legalise the use of armed guards on commercial vessels in October of last year, private maritime security companies operated in a grey area of shipping. However since the legalisation the private maritime security industry still has a 100% success rate as there has yet to be an incident formally reported which involves the hijack of a vessel that has armed guards on board and piracy in the Gulf of Aden has dropped for the first time in five years. It is therefore difficult to deny the importance of this growing sector.
For the last year the GMI have been working closely with Peter Cook the founder of SAMI on the development of the new MSc Maritime Security degree programme by ensuring that the content accurately reflects that which is demanded by the industry. We thank SAMI for their help and advice and congratulate them for their well-earned award.
To find out more about SAMI visit the association website www.seasecurity.org