The past year has witnessed an escalation in both violence and the number of attacks on ships and their crew. According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau, there were 219 attacks in 2010 off Somalia, in which 49 vessels were hijacked and 1,016 crew members taken hostage.
Despite measures taken by the United Nations Security Council and the presence of naval units in the area of the Gulf of Aden, pirates continue to strike. More and more shipowners have had to resort to using private security firms to protect their seafarers and ships.
In 2010, the One Earth Foundation estimated the economic cost of piracy on the supply chain to be between US$7-12 billion.
“This is of great concern to any industry having to navigate through the Gulf of Aden to deliver goods by water,” ICC said.
Prepared by the ICC Commission on Transport and Logistics, the call for action said: “As the World Business Organization, ICC urges governments to recognize that piracy, in addition to its effect on the safety of seafarers, has an important financial impact on global trade and shipping, and furthermore poses increased threat on the stability and security of energy supply lines not only for major industrial nations.”
ICC called on governments to improve the rules of engagement given to the navies present in the area, and refocus the efforts of the UN and other international bodies to ensure that pirates are brought to justice and that required institutions in central Somalia are established to maintain economic and social standards.
Together with shipowners and trade associations around the world, over 20 CEOs from key shipping and trading companies have endorsed the ICC Call for Action on Piracy.