PROMERC Manual of Non-lethal Counter Piracy Measures

How can ship owners evaluate the introduction or application of counter piracy measure in their vessels? Different criteria should be taken into account. Counter Piracy Measure Manual can help them during the planning phase of a voyage.

To reduce the vulnerability of EU merchant fleets and maritime supply lines to piracy events, criminal abduction and extortion, ship owner should prepare each vessel to be always ready to any kind of inconvenience, thereby reducing risk to mariners, shipping, and the environment, while also reducing costs.

In an ideal scenario vessels should carry on every kind of physical counter piracy measure and ship owners should apply all the available measure to ensure low risk to the crew and their cargo/merchandise: measure like giving them the most expensive courses and buying all the most effective tools, which are usually the most expensive once, or measure like selecting the worst route in terms of costs, but the best in terms of piracy exposure.

Purchasing best products is usually expensive, but an expensive measure is not always the best choice, best choice should be selected considering different point of view or different criteria.

Cost is a powerful criteria but decision should be made also taking in to account criteria, such as operational effectiveness and certain condition as ethical, social and legal aspect of each country crossed by the vessel during the voyage.

The aim of PROMERC Counter Piracy Measure Manual (CM Manual in the following) is to help the ship owners in the pre-voyage phase with a practical guide to assist in the selection of appropriate non-military counter measures in order to reduce the risk of piracy.

The CM Manual is a complete catalogue of available active and passive counter piracy measures which collect relevant information as the effort to purchase and maintain them, or how effective could be their adoption, or in what particular situation or time of the day it is likely to be used.

The CM Manual is an Interactive Web Application (IWA) which is intended to be a powerful planning tool and could be queried to retrieve information regarding counter piracy measures that match the input criteria. EII [1]

A list of relevant properties has been defined to filter counter piracy measures:

  • Layered Defence Category: level of defence
  • Activation process: initial action required activate a counter measure
  • Decision timeline: when decisions must be made to activate a counter measure
  • Time of day: period of the day in which counter measure is effective

The content of the CM Manual is also available in PDF format.

In the IWA version of the CM Manual, counter piracy measures could be filtered also by their PEESLE scores. PEESLE stands for relevant factors affecting European public perception and legal compliancy of non-military protection measures according to the following areas: Political, Economical, Ethical, Social, Legal and Environmental, this means that purchasing counter piracy measures could be affected by factors which are not only economical, for example some counter measure are not allowed to be used in some countries, therefore they will have a discouraged score legally speaking. Each counter piracy measure has a score for each PEESLE factor, based by studies made by experts partners, that ranges between negative three, which stands for strongly discouraged, to positive three, which is, contrariwise, strongly recommended.

EII [2]

During the project, four categories with increasing levels of ship and crew protection have been defined. Each available counter piracy measure takes part of exactly one category. In the IWA version of the manual the ship owners could check the actual security level that can be assigned to a vessel considering counter piracy measures already installed or applied and they could find out what others they should purchase or apply to reach the next higher level of security.

The further improvement of the CM Manual could concern its handover to a suitable organisation who can maintain up-to-date the underlying knowledge base of counter piracy measures while assuring access control.

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