Antipiracy campaign looks to CEO's for support

The SOS SaveOurSeafarers antipiracy campaign is looking for support from business leaders to increase international pressure on governments to take tougher action against Somali piracy, which is estimated to be costing the world economy $12 billion a year.

"These criminal gangs are holding the world economy to ransom," says Campaign Chair Giles Heimann. "The potential economic impact of the crisis is hugely disturbing given the knife edge on which the global economy is currently perched."

"Any business or organisation that conducts trade though the Suez Canal and across the Indian Ocean to the Indian sub-continent and Asia and Australasia is at risk," says Mr. Heimann. "That's about one-fifth of global trade. We feel that businesses which rely on these routes remaining safe will be keen to offer their support. They rely on the movement of manufactured goods, raw materials, food and fuel to operate."

Saying that the pirate gangs "have discovered the meaning of scalability" and that their "business model" now extends across an area of ocean twice the size of Europe, Mr. Heimann warns that there is a real risk that the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the entire Indian Ocean could become restricted zones for shipping. Seafarers could simply refuse to sail into war-like attacks, captivity and the suffering that follows and shipowners may not put ships and crews at risk.

"Using alternative routes will play havoc with costs and there is no alternative to sailing through the area for over 40 percent of all seaborne oil which originates from the Arabian Gulf region," says Mr. Heimann

"Part of the role of business leaders is to seek opportunities and identify threats," he continues. "Shipping industry representatives are in a position to make direct contact with world business leaders. We see it as our duty to warn them of the threat to their businesses posed by severe restrictions to one fifth of the world's major sea trade routes. We hope that in turn, they will bring pressure upon their respective governments to eliminate the piracy threat."

Supporters of the www.SaveOurSeafarers.com Campaign include:

UMI (International Union of Marine Insurance), LMA (Lloyd's Market Association), Nautical Institute, SIGTTO (Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators), UGS (Union of Greek Shipowners), UK Chamber of Shipping, WISTA UK (Women's International Shipping & Trading Association), UK P&I Club, WSC (World Shipping Council, GARD (P&I insurance), North of England P&I Club, London P&I Club, Standard Club (P&I Club), Britannia P&I ClubEnergy Maritime)

January 24, 2012