Seychelles hosts major maritime safety course


23-April-2013

Mr Mondon (right) addressing …

Organised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and other bodies, the training is being run at the Maritime Training Centre (MTC) in line with the Djibouti Code of Conduct which Seychelles signed in January 2009.

Delegates come from regional countries like Yemen, Tanzania, Kenya and global bodies which form part of the anti-piracy joint groups.

MTC director Brian Hoareau told Nation the team will first analyse the activities that have taken place in the regional waters since last year and the efforts they have injected in the fight against the crime.

When launching the course, principal secretary for transport Terrence Mondon noted the advanced training programme on information sharing is jointly organised by the European Union’s Marsic project, the IMO and the France Expertise International (FEI).

He thanked Dr Michele Stallone, the thematic adviser and information sharing centre component manager of the project.

“Information sharing is a key element in analysing maritime incidents and improving our regional organisation so as to prevent future threats, incidents and attacks,” he said, noting more than 20,000 ships are estimated to transit every year through the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and the rise in maritime threats such as piracy off the coast of Somalia are one of the biggest challenges the shipping sector is facing.

… delegates at the launch of the workshop yesterday

“Piracy has affected the security of international shipping and the freedom of the seas of many of our neighbouring countries,” he said, adding this has resulted in most shipping companies putting armed guards on their merchant vessels with the support of ship insurers. 

He regretted this adds risks for example encouraging pirates to change tactics and be more violent, raise ransom amounts and the pirates may shift their attention elsewhere and spread into the vast areas of the Indian Ocean.

“Seychelles being an important player in the field of maritime security and safety in the region, is also a committed partner with the EU and the international community in this fight against piracy which has not only severely affected our economy but continues to be a destabilising factor in the region,” he said.

He said 20 other member states have signed the Djibouti code for repressing piracy and armed robbery in the gulf of Aden and in the western Indian ocean.
 
“We have also since then signed many other bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding the transfer of suspected pirates as well as Status of Forces Agreement with partners such as US, NATO, EU member states, China, the United Arab Emirates among others – all affiliated with international partners to work together to strengthen our collective capabilities to combat piracy.
 
“Seychelles has also last year established – together with the Indian Ocean Commission (COI) – a regional anti-piracy unit, for the purpose of mobilising regional efforts to promote maritime security.

“We are therefore fully committed to all international and regional collaborative efforts to counter piracy threats,” he told the delegates.

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