NORDEN has joined stakeholders across the maritime industry in calling for an end to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Located off the western coast of Africa, the Gulf of Guinea is an important sea route for transport of goods to and from central and southern Africa, containing nearly 20 commercial seaports. It is also the world’s piracy hotspot and is growing increasingly dangerous for seafarers, who are at risk of kidnap and violence.
According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), 40 crew members have been kidnapped and one killed in piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea in the first three months of this year alone.
NORDEN's CEO, Jan Rindbo, was involved in drafting the Gulf of Guinea Declaration on Suppression of Piracy in collaboration with BIMCO, which calls for an international military presence in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Everyone should be able to go to work in safety without fearing for their lives – not least our seafarers who play such a vital role in global trade. We hope the declaration brings international attention to this critical issue and ensures action is taken,” said Jan Rindbo.
The Gulf of Guinea is an increasingly important trading region for NORDEN customers on both dry cargo and tanker vessels. In 2020, there were 106 port calls made by NORDEN and NPP operated vessels in the Gulf of Guinea; compared to 86 the year before.
Vessels entering the area adhere to tight security measures, involving putting up razor wire and the use of evasive manoeuvring techniques. Depending on the security situation, national soldiers and security vessels may be required to escort vessels to and from ports. The extra security comes at a high price, often referred to as the ‘piracy premium’.
“The additional cost to trade in the Gulf of Guinea due to piracy is damaging to local economies,” said Jan Rindbo. “By suppressing piracy, not only do we protect our seafarers, but we enable economic growth and development in this region of Africa.
So far 164 maritime stakeholders have signed the declaration, and the number is growing.