On Thursday, September 29, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) focus on the issue for World Maritime Day 2011 to be observed across the globe is, "Piracy: Orchestrating the Response."
On this day, Vice Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Harbour Affairs Hon. Theo Heyliger, would like to congratulate the maritime sector and all those working in this particular area as well as those who have retired.
"The maritime sector is very important to the country’s economy and everybody working in this sector plays a valuable role and makes an important contribution to our economy. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate you and say thank you for your hard work," Minister of Harbour Affairs Hon. Theo Heyliger said on Wednesday.
Every year the IMO celebrates World Maritime day. The day is used to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO’s work.
Piracy is one of the major challenges facing the maritime industry. The world piracy population is around two million. Heightened piracy activity takes place near Eastern Africa in the vicinity of Somalia.
The IMO has been dealing with piracy for more than 30-years. According to the IMO, in the past 12-months, there have been 286 piracy-related incidents off the coast of Somalia, which have resulted in 67 hijacked ships, with 1,130 seafarers on board.
It has been estimated that piracy cost the world economy between US$7 billion and US$12 billion, as a result of the disruption to shipping services and international trade.