Piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea region is an established criminal activity and is of increasing concern to the maritime sector with recent attacks becoming more widespread and violent. Although piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region in many ways differs from that of Somalia based piracy, large sections of the Best Management Practices already developed by industry to help protect against Somalia based piracy are also valid in the Gulf of Guinea region.
Reporting to Marine Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG):
The recently established MDAT-GoG is a service operated by the French and UK navies from centers in Brest, France, and in Portsmouth, England and aims to develop, maintain and share details of the maritime domain picture of the waters off Africa’s western seaboard. The MDAT-GoG administers a Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) scheme under which merchant vessels are encouraged to report position information while operating in the VRA.
The VRA as shown on Admiralty Chart Q6114 has been issued to clearly define an internationally recognised area, so ship operators and vessels transiting, trading or operating in West Africa can join a trusted reporting scheme. The provision of Admiralty Chart Q6114 to all vessels operating in the VRA is strongly recommended.
These provisions include following reporting:
WHEN: TYPE OF REPORT:
Entering the VRA MDAT-GoG Initial Report
Underway within the VRA MDAT-GoG Daily Position Report (12:00UTC)
Arriving at a Port within the VRA MDAT-GoG Final Report
Leaving a Port within the VRA MDAT-GoG Initial Report
Exiting the VRA MDAT-GoG Final Report
Suspicious or Irregular Activity Suspicious or Irregular Activity Report
The Center will provide advice and guidance on the maritime security situation and on mitigating the risk of armed robbery or other unlawful activities.
The MDAT-GoG provides a 24-hour manned service of military experts. The MDAT-GoG receives reports, shares important updates and provides guidance on vessel operating patterns, security risks with the Gulf of Guinea maritime community.
In addition, it is strongly recommended that owners, operators and Master’s ensure full consideration is given to the Guidelines developed by BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO, and supported by the NATO Shipping Centre. Although piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is different from Somali piracy, large sections of the current Best Management Practices will also be applicable to the pirate attacks on vessels operating in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Guidelines aim to bridge the gap between the advice found in BMP4 and the prevailing situation in the Gulf of Guinea. Consequently, the Gulf of Guinea guidelines should be read in conjunction with BMP4 as they will make reference to BMP4 when relevant.
Click on below images to download Guidance and Chart.