The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has called for standardisation of global reporting to curb maritime crimes and protect seafarers.
The suggestion was discussed at an IMB international meeting on global piracy, armed robbery and maritime security in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore.
The gathering addressed the key challenges faced by the shipping industry such as piracy and mass illegal migrations.
The meeting highlighted the significance of developing a common worldwide information sharing framework as part of the standardisation of global reporting.
IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said: "Information sharing and coordinated action between concerned coastal states is crucial in responding to this threat. However, the proliferation of reporting centres in some regions could create a degree of confusion that can leave seafarers and ships unnecessarily at risk."
Experts present at the meeting said that supporting international efforts to minimise the maritime crime would also involve the use of naval vessels in anti piracy operations.
The framework is expected to allow naval and law enforcement forces to respond quickly at emergency situations by accelerating the receipt as well as distribution of critical details required.
Furthermore, the meeting raised questions pertaining to armed guards, whether they fit into comprehensive response measures in different high risk areas as well as challenges faced by law enforcement in arresting and prosecuting pirates and armed robbers.
Other areas of concern that were addressed at the meeting included impact on seafarers and their families, post-incident protection of evidence, and the regional differences in the pirates’ strategies of attack.
The bureau collaborated with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Interpol and the Royal Malaysian Police for the event that reflected on the cooperation between civil and governmental entities in the maritime domain.
The meeting was attended by 200 delegates from 30 countries which included maritime security experts representing governments, law enforcement agencies, navies, international organisations the shipping industry and seafarers’ unions.
Image: A merchant ship. Photo: courtesy of ICC Commercial Crime Services (CCS).