PNSC implements BMP-4 anti-piracy regime
By Abrar Hamza
KARACHI: The Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) is strictly adhering to the requirements of Best Management Practices (BMP-4), which is a mandatory compliance in response to the growing menace of piracy.
According to the annual report of the corporation for the year 2012, PNSC has enforced a comprehensive counter piracy regime. The BMP strategy includes, ship security plan prepared by PNSC for each vessel and approved by Bureau Veritas; PNSC Piracy Anti-Attack Plan; use of dummies; Ship Security Alert System installed and Automatic Identification System fitted.
The strategy also includes, barbed razor wire all around vessel's perimeter; fire hoses rigged (pressurised); enhanced vigilance; maneuvering practice; enhanced illumination once pirates identified; port hole grills fitted and accommodation doors strengthened; ship alarms exercise; anti-piracy drill/citadel drill (prior entering piracy high risk areas); and monitoring and supporting by Pakistan Navy ships deployed at strategic points.
The board of directors of the corporation in its report stated that there has been a significant and rapid rise in the level of piracy activities over the past few years as the pirate groups have become better resourced, better equipped and capable of attacking vessels further away from the Somali coastline.
The threat to merchant shipping and seafarers posed by the activities of Somali pirates unfortunately shows no sign of being eliminated and the piracy problem has now reached a critical threshold, one that presents many challenges, the report stated.
While the naval deterrent that exists within the Gulf of Aden (GoA) has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of attacks there, vessels continue to be at risk of attacks far offshore where naval resources are thinly spread.