IMO, EUNAVFOR: Shipping must be vigilant in Western Indian Ocean



IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and EUNAVFOR Operation ATALANTA Commander (OpCdr), Vice Admiral Núñez Torrente, agreed that shipping needs to maintain a high level of awareness in the Western Indian Ocean and follow Best Management Practices (BMP) to deter piracy.

This agreement came following a consultation meeting at IMO headquarters, on 2 February. Since 1 January 2023, the designation of the Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA) put in place by the shipping industry has been rescinded, due to the improved piracy situation in the region.

However, shipping should remain vigilant, apply the BMP 5 and register with Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA)’s voluntary registration scheme (VRS), as the best way to ensure the security of navigation and immediate assistance in case of need, the two agreed.

The meeting was an opportunity for Vice Admiral Torrente to update Secretary-General Lim on the renewed mandate (until 31 December 2024), of Operation ATALANTA.

The overall mandate of Operation ATALANTA has been consolidated. It maintains its activities to deter, prevent and repress piracy and armed robbery at sea and has extended its geographical scope north of the Red Sea.

This broadened scope will ensure the freedom of navigation and the protection of the World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping to Somalia, while better supporting the building of a wider regional maritime security architecture.

As for IMO, it continues to support signatory States to implement the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC), as amended by the Jeddah Amendment, to enhance maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.