In response to the threats arising from the conflict in Yemen, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Intertanko have published interim guidance on maritime security in the southern Red Sea and in the Bab al-Mandeb.
The associations have advised that shipowners and operators should be aware of new threat patterns in the area.
The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) have advised that a range of threats other than piracy, such as sea mines and water-borne improvised explosive devices (WBIED), are potential risks in the area.
"We've been advised that these threats are real, and therefore decided to provide guidance for ships operating in the area. We have seen two incidents in January, and we want to make sure owners and operators are aware and advise their crews accordingly," said Angus Frew, BIMCO secretary general and ceo.
It is important that company security officers and ship masters are informed of these new threats, as the threat patterns and mitigating measures differ from the more familiar regional threat of piracy.
The guidance stresses the importance of using the Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC), registering with the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) and reporting to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), as well as reviewing and updating risk assessments and plans to include these new threats.
The Interim Guidance on Maritime Security in the Southern Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb is available on the BIMCO, ICS and Intertanko websites.