There are strong indications that the recent attacks on Maersk Line ships in Nigerian waters may have prompted the leading shipping line to solicit the cooperation of global shipping interests in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
The move has yielded positive results as Denmark; the home country of Maersk Line has appointed Ambassador Jens-Otto Horslund as its Special Representative for Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The appointment has already been endorsed by global shipping interest group; BIMCO, which said last week that it was a welcome idea.
BIMCO said it has been advocating for collaboration between Nigerian law enforcement and international navies for years.
“While it is understandable that Nigeria does not want foreign navies in their territorial waters, we hope that Ambassador Horslund will be able to garner broad support for an antipiracy operation as mandated by the UNCLOS convention, i.e. in international waters just outside Nigeria’s 12 nautical mile limit,” says Jakob P. Larsen, BIMCO Head of Maritime Safety & Security.
“It is time for the international community to live up to the aspirations of the UNCLOS convention and suppress the piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which affects seafarers and companies from all over the world. International navies is an indispensable addition to regional efforts such as Nigeria’s newly acquired Deep Blue capabilities which we hope will reach full operational capability soon,” Larsen says.
BIMCO estimates that two helicopter equipped frigates with robust antipiracy mandates, plus one maritime patrol aircraft working from a base ashore, will have a significant deterrent effect on the pirates operating in the Gulf of Guinea.