Flag Concerns

Concerned about the increasing violence faced by seafarers on dangerous transits through the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, the Maritime Administrations of the world’s three largest maritime flag states are supporting new reporting procedures to better document the violence faced by seafarers.  These three flag states are Liberia, the Marshall Islands and Panama.

As documented in the Human Cost of Somali Piracy Report released on June 6, this year by Oceans Beyond Piracy, thousands of seafarers have been subjected to gunfire, beatings, confinement, and in some cases torture; however, the human cost of piracy is still underreported and misunderstood by the public.   The study indicates that during the course of 2010:

• 4185 Seafarers were attacked with firearms and Rocket Propelled Grenades.
• 342 Survived Incidents in Citadels (ships’ reinforced security rooms).
• 1090 Seafarers were taken hostage.
• 516 Seafarers were used as human shields.

Concerned with the increasing use of violence upon seafarers as an instrument of piratical acts, the Maritime Authorities of the Republic of Panama, the Republic of Liberia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands will sign a declaration, affirming their commitment to supply information provided to the flag State following acts of piracy or armed robbery to the International Maritime Bureau, which has been identified by Oceans Beyond Piracy as the appropriate body to collect and report such information.

Ceremony:  The signing ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3, 2011 in the Zenger Room the National Press Club, 529 14th Street Northwest, Washington D.C. at 1400.  The ceremony will be attended by representatives of the three Maritime Authorities, Oceans Beyond Piracy, and the International Maritime Bureau.

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