Shipowners urged governments to take a heavier hand to captured Somali pirates and their financiers, as the threat to trade and seafarers increases.
The International Chamber of Shipping, whose membership makes up more than 80 percent of the world merchant fleet, said more aggressive military intervention was needed in the Indian Ocean.
“The current situation remains totally unacceptable, with about 200 seafarers still being held hostage in the most appalling conditions, with thousands more still having to transit the danger area in constant fear of their lives,” said the ICS’s board of directors in a statement.
Although better shipping practices and military co-ordination had reduced the chances of pirates being successful, the threat had not diminished.
ICS Chairman Spyros Polemis said shipowners need to persuade the government to directly attack pirates while keeping merchant ships safe. He said every captured pirates should be tried and imprisoned if found guilty.
“Thirdly, governments must break the financial chain through legal action against criminal financiers investing in piracy wherever in the world they are identified,” Polemis said.
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