Friday 7 January 2022 : Release of the third edition of the MICA Center’s annual review

For this new edition, the Maritime Information Cooperation & Awareness Center (MICA Center), in collaboration with its vast network of partners, provides an analysis of the threats affecting maritime security worldwide, documented with detailed statistics.

2021 saw a significant drop in the number of maritime piracy and robbery events, with a total of 317 incidents worldwide, compared to 375 in 2020, a drop of 15%.

This decrease is particularly significant in the Gulf of Guinea, where the number of incidents is exceptionally low, with 52 events recorded. This drop, which should however be confirmed in the next months, is analysed as the combination of the strict application by crews of the Best Management Practices West Africa, and the growing awareness among international and regional actors, who are now taking concrete action against maritime insecurity in the area, and are trying to provide themselves an appropriate legal framework.

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MARITIME DOMAIN AWARENESS (MDA)

A key objective for France in the Indo-Pacific zone

In an article published on THE DIPLOMAT website, Commander Jeremy Bachelier, Officer in Charge of Maritime Security in Southeast Asia (ALPACI) and French Liaison Officer at IFC Singapore and CC (R) Eric Frécon detail France’s strategy on strengthening cooperation in maritime domain awareness (MDA) to ensure maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.

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A new partnership for the MICA Center

The MICA Center cooperates not only with shipowners, but also with insurers with the aim of sharing the information from its network as widely as possible with the maritime world. This cooperation takes the form of a Voluntary Naval Cooperation (VNC) protocol, signed between each partner company and the French Navy, and directly implemented by the MICA Center.

Thus, on 30 November, the CNV protocol was signed between the French Navy and GAREX (Groupement d’Assurance de Risques EXceptionnel). Founded in 1980, GAREX is today one of the recognised leaders in the maritime war risks market.

Link to the article of the French Ministry of Defence: https://www.defense.gouv.fr/marine/actu-marine/la-marine-nationale-signe-le-protocole-cnv-avec-garex

39th Shared Awareness Meeting

On 14 October 2021, the 39th SAM (shared awareness meeting) was held, co-organized by the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) Singapore and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA). More than 240 participants from 30 countries, comprising key stakeholders from the shipping industry and maritime security agencies, took part in this event.

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The MICA Center Commander officer visits OHQ Atalanta in Rota

The European operation Atalanta aims to fight against maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali basin. In particular, it relies on one of the three cells of the MICA Center, the “Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa” (MSCHOA), whose role is to monitor vessels transiting in this area, and to ensure the permanent reception and relaying of alerts in case of an event.

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A new commander for the MICA Center

On Thursday 2 September 2021, Vice-Admiral Olivier Lebas, Maritime Prefect, Commander of the Atlantic Maritime District, officially appointed Commander Eric Jaslin as the new Commander of the MICA Center. He replaces Lieutenant-Commander (CC) Gilles Chehab.

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Rendez-vous PARISMAT

Organised by the Comité d’Etudes et de Services des Assureurs Maritimes et transports (CESAM), the annual PARISMAT meeting took place at La Maison de la Chimie on 28 and 29 June 2021.

PARISMAT is a meeting place for the transport insurance industry. It normally brings together more than 600 delegates, representing some forty foreign countries, to discuss issues affecting the insurance market.

The MICA Center commanding officer presented his latest statistics on maritime security and, in particular, the problem of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, the most dangerous area in the world.

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PIRATES OF THE NIGER DELTA

A study on maritime piracy has been carried out by the Global Maritime Crime Programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The study was funded by the Government of Denmark through the Danish Maritime Security Programme for the Gulf of Guinea 2019-2021.

It provides a detailed description of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, including lesser known aspects such as the organisation of pirate groups and the financial flows generated by this criminal activity.

The study is available under the link :

https://www.unodc.org/res/piracy/index_html/UNODC_GMCP_Pirates_of_the_Niger_Delta_between_brown_and_blue_waters.pdf

Participation of the MICA Center in SHADE 48

Because maritime insecurity prevails in some areas of the world, it is important that we all use the same terms to categorize illegal acts.

SHADE 48, which took place on 26 and 27 May and was chaired by EUNAVFOR Atalanta, was an opportunity for many centres to address this point.  The aim of this coordination is to be pragmatic, to be understandable by as many people as possible and to leave no room for interpretation.

The MICA Center was invited to present its categorization of events. Through the voice of its second-in-command, it presented the different definitions used in its cells and which are already shared by other organizations.

Cooperation between the MICA Center and the AGENOR mission

AGENOR, the European mission in the Persian Gulf, is the military component of the European Maritime Surveillance Initiative in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH).

Its aim is to preserve freedom of navigation in this sensitive area, which is essential for trade and energy supplies to Europe. AGENOR deploys surface ships and air assets to ensure a presence and surveillance of the area in accordance with international law, to ensure the freedom of navigation.

The MICA Center, a french centre dedicated to maritime security, has naturally developed a close cooperation with AGENOR, of which France is a framework nation.

Thanks to its Centre de Coopération Navale (C2N), which is in charge of voluntary maritime cooperation (CNV), the MICA Center ensures and facilitates the daily contacts between shipping companies and civilian ships and this European military operation.

For more information, please visit :

www.linkedin.com/company/EMASOH

www.twitter.com/EMASOH_AGENOR