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  • Writer's pictureShaun Robertson

Do You Know The 3 Main Piracy Reporting Organisations?

Documenting piracy is key to understanding the crime to respond and counter it. Three organisations are critical for the main piracy hotspots worldwide: the UKMTO, MDAT-GoG and ReCaap. This article will detail who these organisations are and what they do.


UKMTO


The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organisation (UKMTO) is part of the UK's Maritime Trade Information Centre administered by the Royal Navy. The purpose of the organisation to act as a liaison between the military and international trade to gather information in relation to the Indian Ocean and surrounding areas. This information is collected with strict confidentiality and is then used to increase security for vessels and all those onboard in the region.


The ship master reports the position, course, speed and ETA to the next port for the UKMTO, which can help steer the vessel and give intelligence on potential threats.




Enhancing regional security is done by warning vessels of recent attacks and dangerous areas which can help coordinate safe voyages in addition to helping response efforts should the need arise. The UKMTO has been a key player in the reduction of piracy in Somalia and the Indian Ocean, which resulted in the removal of the Indian Ocean high-risk area in January 2023.


MDAT-GoG


The Maritime Awareness for Trade - Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG) is another centre which acts as a conduit between the shipping industry and the military. However, whilst the Royal Navy is involved through the Maritime Trade Information Centre, MDAT-GoG also comprises the French Navy, which also partakes in its operations through the Maritime Information, Cooperation and Awareness Centre (MICA). The centre was founded in 2016 to help with the Yaounde Process.


"Information is collected with strict confidentiality and is then used to increase security for vessels and all those onboard"



The Yaounde Process or Yaounde Architecture involves regional cooperation and sharing among Central and Western African countries to resolve conflicts in the region. A primary factor of this consists in countering piracy and other maritime crimes to help the growth of nations in the Gulf of Guinea.


The Process is supported by regional actors such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and international actors like the United Nations (UN).






The goal of MDAT-GoG is similar to the UKMTO in that it offers situational awareness and guidance to shipping in the area through real-time information and cooperation with relevant stakeholders. The only difference is that it is limited and specialised in the Gulf of Guinea region.


ReCaap


The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCaap) is an intergovernmental agreement to improve cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia, particularly South-East Asia. The organisation was founded in 2006 with 14 regional contracting states, which has now expanded to 21 states worldwide, including Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.


These organisations offer, "situational awareness and guidance to shipping ... through real-time information and cooperation with relevant stakeholders"


The goal of ReCaap is to be the main information hub for piracy in Asia and to improve regional information sharing, capacity building and cooperation. As such, regional security forces and the public can rely on ReCaap for up-to-date information on piracy in the region. ReCaap also partners with other international organisations such as INTERPOL and the IMO.


Conclusion

Overall, information sharing and cooperation is a key component of fighting piracy due to the primarily transnational nature of the crime. These organisations are essential to governments, militaries and the shipping industry in understanding piracy and combating it.


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