Training Coastguards in Piracy Hotspots Key

Training and mentoring of coastguards in Africa, Middle East, and South East Asia is essential if coastal nations are to have effective control over their Territorial Waters and Economic Zones, according to maritime security company Maritime Asset Security & Training Ltd (MAST).

Furthermore, if Western Governments continue to cut back on defence spending, these nations will be increasingly reliant on their own organic resources to provide security in international waters adjacent to their territorial limits.

Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of MAST, said: “While the UK Chamber of Shipping has recently reported that Indian Ocean piracy is under control, the report rightly warned that there is still much to be done ashore if a resurgence of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean is to be prevented. Somalia remains a politically fragmented state and in places, the lack of governance, and law and order, means that the ‘pirate breeding grounds’ are still intact.”

Northwood added that this does not only apply to Somalia, and that other coastal nations in piracy prone areas are encouraged to guard their territorial waters and economic zones.

Richard Battrick, Director of Training, Compliance and Ordnance Management at MAST said that it is important for the  coastguards to be able to implement a more sophisticated and layered application of maritime security, including surface vessels, helicopters and fixed wing surveillance aircraft, all coordinated by networked operations centres.

Image: Eunavfor

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