Ahead of a to be held today on the subject of maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, China Central Television News (CCTV News) recently visited Dryad Maritime’s Portsmouth office to speak to Dryad’s Chief Operating Officer, Ian Millen, about the regional trends and differences of maritime piracy, and to seek his thoughts on the conclusions he would like to see the UN arrive at.
Speaking to CCTV News’ UK Correspondent Richard Bestic, Ian was asked for his views about maritime piracy off the coastline of Nigeria and more generally in West Africa, and how it differs from that of maritime piracy carried out by criminals in other regions, in particular Somali piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
“Gulf of Guinea pirates are their own brand, there’s no suggestion that they’ve copied tactics or procedures from people on the other side of the continent.”
Ian describes how, at the height of Somali piracy, ships were commonly hijacked, taken into inshore waters and held for ransom with their crews. By contrast to the failed state of Somalia, the Gulf of Guinea is a more complex region of sovereign nation states, each with their own territorial waters and maritime economic zones. As a result, the same operational template for tackling maritime crime cannot be applied. The hijack of ships also tends to be more short-term, whilst the pirates meet their objectives of either refined product cargo theft or kidnap of crew for ransom. On his hopes on what the UN might conclude, Ian stressed the need to find a collaborative solution that involved the regional nations; the only way to comprehensively tackle the problem.
“The challenge is going to be making sure that any solutions are done in consultation and co-operation with the regional nations. There needs to be a solution that is collaborative and works together with the regional forces and nations to come up with something that is going to tackle the problem.”
CCTV (China Central Television), the principal state television broadcaster for China, provides reports, live and on-demand video content and searchable archives to many countries around the globe. The broadcaster has a network of 45 channels showing programmes seen by more than one billion viewers.
Ian’s full interview with CCTV News can be viewed below: