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Owners should pay in fight against pirates: Intermanager

Article-Owners should pay in fight against pirates: Intermanager

Owners should pay in fight against pirates: Intermanager

London: Shipowners should consider paying a levy towards the cost of piracy protection in the Gulf of Aden, according to Guy Morel, general secretary of Intermanager.
Mr Morel told the Tackling Piracy at Sea conference in London that just as they paid for other essential services, a levy that was channelled towards meeting the costs of the Navy missions or setting up a future Somali coastguard could be considered.
"If shipowners and managers were asked to pay a tax levied by governments that could contribute to the cost of the naval mission, then I would be comfortable in advocating that," he said.
Since the industry was calling for help to deal with a crisis, he said owners and managers should be "willing to contribute to the cost going forward".
The suggestion was rejected by Lauritzen chief executive Torben Janholt and the IMO's Chris Trelawny, who suggested that the priority must be to encourage the littoral states to stabilise the political situation and build capacity for a regional coastguard force.
EURONAVFOR chief of staff Richard Farrington said such a force might comprise current pirates, in a repeat of the model used in Puntland and Yemen. He also called on the industry to support the World Food Programme by providing better quality ships to carry food aid cargoes, so releasing naval assets to guard merchant shipping.
"These ships are the fag-end of the industry. If we can persuade the industry to put bigger, better ships into the WFP then I can release quite a bit of the time that warship spends out in the Somali basin."
Some WFP ships carry as little as 500 tonnes and make five or seven knots, each one getting a personal naval escort. Using a ship of 10,000 tonnes would save the navy 20 trips, said Capt Farrington. [19/03/09]

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