Piracy high on agenda at IMO maritime safety meeting

10:54, May 10, 2011      

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Piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean will be high on the agenda when the International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meets for its 89th session on Wednesday.

A statement from the IMO said on Monday that from May 11-20 meeting also includes adoption of amendments, concerning lifeboat release hooks, to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and work related to the implementation of the Torremolinos Protocol on fishing vessel safety, as well as goal- based standards for vessel construction and the long-range identification and tracking of ships.

"The MSC will also consider the approval of a number of draft resolutions for submission to the IMO Assembly, to be held in late 2011," the statement said of the meeting which will be held in London.

The MSC is expected to discuss the development of guidance on the employment of private, armed security service providers on board ships, measures to improve compliance with the Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Arabian Sea area and proposed guidelines to assist in the collection of evidence after a hijack.

IMO said the number of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to the Organization and which occurred in 2010 was 489, against 406 during the previous year, representing an increase of 20.4 percent from the figure for 2009.
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