Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia Based Piracy
The purpose of the Industry Best Management Practices (BMP) contained in this booklet is to assist ships to avoid, deter or delay piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, including the Gulf of Aden (GoA) and the Arabian Sea area
Experience, supported by data collected by Naval forces, shows that the application of the recommendations contained within this booklet can and will make a significant difference in preventing a ship becoming a victim of piracy.
The potential consequences of not following BMP, as set out in
this booklet, are severe. There have been instances of pirates
subjecting their hostages to violence and other ill treatment.
The average length of a hijacking of vessel and her crew is
over 7 months. (Note Naval/Military forces often refer to a
“pirated” vessel rather than a “hijacked” vessel, the meaning
is however the same).
For the purposes of the BMP the term ‘piracy’ includes all acts
of violence against ships, her crew and cargo. This includes
armed robbery and attempts to board and take control of the
ship, wherever this may take place. Somali pirates have to
date sought to hijack a vessel, her cargo and crew and hold
them until a ransom demand is paid.
Where possible, this booklet should be read with reference to the
Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (www.MSCHOA.org),
and the NATO Shipping Centre, (www.shipping.NATO.int),
websites which provide additional regularly updated advice
(including up to date alerts on piracy attacks).
Not all Ship Protection Measures discussed in BMP4 may be
applicable to every ship type.
This BMP4 booklet updates the guidance contained within
the 3rd edition of the Best Management Practice document
published in June 2010.
This booklet complements piracy guidance provided in the
latest IMO MSC Circulars, see the IMO website at www.imo.org
Nothing in this booklet detracts from the Master’s overriding
authority to protect his crew, ship and cargo.
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