Southeast Asian Piracy Hits All Time High
Maritime security questions continue to rise out of Southeast Asia as ship hijackings have risen to all time record highs in 2015 (Maritime Executive 2015). The targets of these attacks are black market and oil related. The demand for oil in the region has caused the tankers to be attacked. Smaller tankers are often the choice target because of they lack the security capacity to protect themselves from an attack.
These attacks have resulted in at least 20,270 metric tons of fuel via siphoning, a value of at least $10,000,000 (Maritime Executive 2015). The problem with these attacks is not just the value of the cargo that the pirates are stealing, it is the perception of the shipping companies and routes that it creates. Companies will question their trade to Southeast Asian nations and there will be less trust from foreign investment. Once foreign investment decreases or is limited the economies will struggle and it will be very difficult for the trust to be built back.
We have seen this as a problem around the world, where maritime security struggles hurt an entire region’s economy like in Northwestern Africa. The value of properly arming and informing the shipping industry does not just stop at the value of goods being stolen or the effects on the insurance rates of these deliveries.
It is the trust in the economy as a whole that is at stake and the ability for the region to continue growing more prosperous.
Proper Maritime Security begins at the ports. If a port is properly monitored, any criminal action will begin to doubt their ability to get away with their actions. Think of the TSA’s effect on Air travel, the thorough checks act as a security effort in that they screen passengers but it also acts as a deterrent for attempts at attacks. People do not even try to hijack planes as often because of the doubt that has been created in their ability to pass through these security provisions.
The improvement of port security will not directly stop piracy but begin developing doubt in their minds. Then security efforts can expand into the waters, which again will not be able to prevent all attacks or protect the entire ocean, it will create the perception and risk in pirates’ minds that prevents them from even attempting a hijack. e
Where does port security efforts start you ask? Come to Booth #4 Maritime Security West 2015 in San Diego, California or check out how Deep Trekker impacts the world of Shipping.