IMB calls for global information sharing centre to combat piracy, illegal migration

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has called for a global information sharing centre combat piracy.

At day conference held in Kuala Lumpur this week IMB participants noted that mass illegal migration and people smuggling had added to the complications of the problem of piracy.

The IMB said that to improve this situation participants considered how a common worldwide information sharing framework would expedite coastal state and naval responses to incidents helping to protect seafarers and catching the criminals involved.

Potengal Mukundan, director of the IMB, “Information sharing and coordinated action between concerned coastal states is crucial in responding to this threat. However, the proliferation of reporting centres in some regions could create a degree of confusion that can leave seafarers and ships unnecessarily at risk.”

In Asia for example there is the IMB’s, industry-funded, global Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur established in 1991, there is also the pan-Asian government backed ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre in Singapore, as well as the military backed Information Fusion Centre also in Singapore. ReCAAP founded in 2006 has 20 member states, but these do not include Malaysia or Indonesia seen as key nations in the fight against piracy in Southeast Asian waters, which has surged this year.

The IMB said that the industry suggested in could play a leading role in global information sharing service.

“For crimes at sea, rapid response is crucial if there is to be any possibility of prosecuting the pirates,” said Mukundan. “The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre plays a crucial role liaising between merchant ships and coastal authorities and navies, and is prepared to further enhance the effectiveness of these joint efforts.” 

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