Coastguards need better training to tackle piracy, says MAST

27 January 2015 (Last Updated January 27th, 2015 18:30)

Coastguards in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia require training and mentoring to help coastal nations combat piracy in their territorial waters and economic zones, maritime security company Maritime Asset Security & Training (MAST) has said.

Coastguards in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia require training and mentoring to help coastal nations combat piracy in their territorial waters and economic zones, maritime security company Maritime Asset Security & Training (MAST) has said.

MAST also said the nations need to rely on their own organic resources for security in international waters, in the wake of western governments’ decision to cut spending on defence.

The recent annual piracy report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) revealed that piracy at sea dropped to its lowest level in eight years, a 44% fall since Somali piracy peaked in 2011.

"There is still much to be done ashore if a resurgence of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean is to be prevented."

MAST COO Gerry Northwood OBE said: "However, the report rightly warned that there is still much to be done ashore if a resurgence of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean is to be prevented.

"Coastal nations in other piracy prone areas such as West Africa and South East Asia are being encouraged to police their territorial waters and exclusive economic zones, and will benefit from mentoring in how to do so more effectively."

MAST Training, Compliance and Ordnance Management director Richard Battrick said: "This requires that they can efficiently manage a range of capabilities, which include surface vessels, helicopters and fixed wing surveillance aircrafts.

"Networked operations centres should coordinate these assets and share critical information."