BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO have jointly congratulated the governments of the Republic of Korea and of Malaysia, and their naval and joint action forces, on repossessing from Somali pirate gangs the hijacked chemical tankers ‘Samho Jewelry’ and ‘Bunga Laurel’ and freeing their crews from captivity.
"The situation in recent weeks though has changed radically,” outlined a joint statement. "Not only are there now 30 ships and more than 700 seafarers in captivity for as long as seven months on average, but also the pirates are employing new tactics. They make greater use of so-called mother ships, some of them large hijacked vessels, which has vastly expanded their range of operation to encompass much of the Arabian Sea between the Gulf of Aden, Somalia and India. They make use of increased firepower to attack, and there are reports of worsening conditions for captured seafarers.
"This situation calls for immediate action by governments before these tactics make trading in the area almost impossible. Over 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil supply now passes through waters at high risk from pirate attack at a time when studies are indicating that piracy is costing the global economy US$7-12 billion per year [Source: Oceans Beyond Piracy].
"We call on the world’s governments to note the extent to which additional international naval assets in this region are desperately needed, and how they should be empowered to enforce a truly robust response against the pirates before ships are successfully hijacked.”