SUNRISE IN THE INDIAN OCEAN: Defeating the Scourge of Piracy

The Republic of Seychelles and SAARPSCO will co-host a groundbreaking international anti- piracy conference, entitled “Piracy: Orchestrating Response”, September 6 — 9, 2011. The conference will take place at Le Meridien Barbarons, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles.

In this unprecedented forum, “Captains” from throughout the word will assemble to address the most vexing piracy issues. Representatives from key ministries in the Seychelles will be joined by senior members of the international intelligence community, as well as corporate and government leaders from partner nations throughout the world.
The comprehensive agenda will cover key issues related to piracy. Workshops and panel discussions include:
• The global challenge: Piracy, maritime security and information sharing
• The impact of piracy on the fishing, cargo shipping, and cruise line industries
• The operational response to piracy, including rules of engagement
• The criminal justice system’s position, including the legal basis for prosecution, prisoner detention capacity and complications in the transfer of prisoners
• The private sector’s response to piracy, such as the role of private armed guards or the military onboard vessels plus beliefs about ransoms 
• Deciphering and dismantling piracy’s organizational structure and financial schemes
• The enhancement of port security and the human and economic tolls of piracy
Other noteworthy conference features include a personal account by a celebrated former hostage, an evening to showcase the vibrant culture of the Seychellois, and the opportunity to pledge urgently needed donations for the famine victims in Somalia.
A few centuries ago, the notion of piracy inspired romantic images of misadventures on the high seas. The threats posed by modern-day buccaneers are very real indeed. Local attacks on ships have evolved into regional and international crimes, as piracy has become more widespread, daring, corrupt and violent.
The tide is turning dramatically. Pirates now face formidable counter threats. Global leaders, or “Captains”, in the public and private sectors are united to overwhelm and defeat this menace. Navigating the world’s waterways will become far less perilous as we continue to make great strides in the prosecution, early detection and prevention of piracy.
One such bold anti-piracy initiative is SAARPSCO: The South Asia and Africa Regional Port Stability Cooperative. In 2008, the United States Coast Guard, in partnership with concerned South Asian and African nations, initiated SAARPSCO to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean and nearby regions. SAARPSCO, headquartered in the Seychelles, is also committed to enforcing lawful fishing practices, creating sophisticated vessel tracking systems, promoting international maritime communication, and preserving environmental quality. Hans J. Niebergall, an international maritime attorney, directs SAARPSCO’s ambitious anti-piracy programs.
This conference, the first of its kind, will serve as a catalyst for the international community to forge powerful global alliances, ultimately to defend the sea, one of our planet’s most valuable treasures.
To learn more about “Piracy: Orchestrating Response”, to register for the conference, and to schedule interviews with the conference hosts, please contact Mr. Niebergall at
Cynthia Isom-Niebergall is director of communications for SAARPSCO (South Asia and Africa Regional Port Stability Cooperative)
By Professional Mariner Staff