The world's three largest ocean container carriers, Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM joined forces to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
The companies said they would exchange information on safety measures, piracy policies and procedures and work together to ensure the issue is addressed across the industry.
The Maersk Alabama was hijacked by Somali pirates in April 2009 and a CMA CGM leisure vessel was also attacked and boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
Piracy news from JOC:
Pirate Attacks Decline in First Half of 2010.
"Our first and foremost concern is the safety and security of our crews. Piracy continues to be a problem for the shipping industry and if we want to address it effectively, we as shipowners must co-operate," the carriers said in joint statement.
The carriers said they agree on the importance of best management practices for safe sailing in the region where Somali pirates continue to attack and hijack ships.
The lines also voiced support for the presence of naval ships in the Gulf of Aden and legal moves to ensure pirates are prosecuted and held responsible for their crimes.
"The root causes of this problem cannot be addressed overnight. Therefore, it is imperative that the naval forces have a strong and dynamic mandate to match the constantly changing situation in the area," the carriers said. "It is also vital that the acts of piracy do not go unpunished, which is why appropriate legal frameworks for prosecuting pirates are needed."
The carriers said they support proposals for regional solutions such as a coast guard and possible transit corridors to East Africa.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.