A maritime security working group focusing on the Gulf of Guinea is scheduled to convene at the next Maritime Safety Committee session, MSC 103, in May and will discuss stakeholder collaboration and possible action to address the problem of piracy in the region.
In a statement, the IMO noted that the urgency of the situation in the Gulf of Guinea has been highlighted by the attack on the Mozart containership on 23 January in which one crewmember was killed and 15 seafarers were kidnapped.
In a circular issued earlier this month, the IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said that IMO has been taking action to enhance the coordination of initiatives among stakeholders, including facilitating meetings with representatives of the industry, the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Interregional Coordination Centre for the Implementation of Regional Strategy for Maritime Safety and Security in Central and West Africa (ICC).
The Secretary-General also highlighted that ships need to implement the IMO-endorsed Best Management Practices (BMP) for West Africa (WA) to avoid, deter, delay and report attacks.
The IMO also noted that it is currently working with the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC) to assist with the implementation of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct (YCC), a regional code aimed at enhancing maritime security and addressing piracy, armed robbery against ships, illegal fishing and other illicit maritime activity.