At an anti-piracy conference yesterday Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs agreed to donate $1 million to the fund and around $400,00 was pledged by private companies in the UAE and further $100,00 by Dubai Port operator DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem. Last year the fund had an operational budget of $4.5 million . Only $100,000 of that operational fund remains and without this infusion of monies the fund would have ceased operating.
While these contributions by UAE entities are generous it is but a fraction of the payouts to the pirates themselves and somehow this all seems a ridiculous situation to NAUTICAL LOG. The UN states it needs $20 million annually, this puts further pressure on the shipping industry. The conference in Dubai was partly established as a fundraiser to pressure industry partners and governments.
Various statements were made by various persons all stating the serious situation of piracy and the need for money - why. If the actions of India were followed by all nations and the pirates eradicated the problem would quickly cease to exist - something is clearly wrong here - force is needed and immediately to stop this maritime nonsense. Political 'correctness' has been carried to unsustainable extremes to the continual suffering of seafarers themselves and anxious families at home - this seems to have been totally ignored by governments. The poorly and weakly led International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has also been quite useless in the anti-piracy campaign - though this is hardly a surprise to seafarers.
Recently NAUTICAL LOG was offered a position as 'delivery master' in a private vessel from Australasia to Europe via the Suez Canal, since this meant crossing the Indian Ocean and transiting the Horn of Africa pirate area we declined the position. Also the Master we passed the job offer on to declined for the same reason - transiting the pirate area. Between the two of us we have 100 years of experience as seafarers but we are not yet senile!!
Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India to free them.