Ship owners call for more anti-piracy action
The Asian Shipowners Forum on Tuesday called on the world's navies to increase their protection of ships passing through the Gulf of Aden and the Western Indian Ocean from pirates.
“We call upon the world's governments to seek a realistic and final solution to this crisis,' said Kenneth Koo, chairman of the forum. 'It is clear that any lasting solution will only be found on land, not at sea, but yet there seems to be very little that is being done on land in Somalia by the world's governments to stop the activities of these pirates.'
The forum represents ship owners directly or indirectly from 14 nations that represent about half the world’s shipping tonnage.
S.S. Teo, chairman of the group’s safe navigation and environment committee, said that while ship owners are grateful for naval protection, “it would seem that the rules of engagement are not effective to stop and punish the attackers.'
George Chao, chairman of the group’s ship insurance and liability committee, also complained about an executive order issued by President Obama that he said was “deliberately vague” and “is only adding to the confusion, by apparently seeking to restrict the ability of ship owners to free their seafarers from kidnap while not offering anything in return that would ensure the protection of our seafarers.”
On other issues the forum:
' Asked the Panama Canal Authority to reassess the apparent need to increase tolls, saying it was not clear that recovery of the world economy is sustainable.
' Expressed concern over the proposals being made on seafarer rest hours in the draft revisions to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping. It said the revisions “do not reflect the reality of the shipping industry. There are times during short-term peak workloads when seafarers must be able to continue to work for safety and exceptional operational reasons or to comply with port authority requirements.'
' Recognized the importance of the reduction of greenhouse gases.
' Confirmed its support for the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009, and called upon all nations to consider early ratification of the convention.