December 30 - Local media reports based on International Maritime Organisation (IMO) information suggest that there were 27 incidents involving piracy and armed robbery against ships engaged in international shipping within the first to third quarters of

Recently, a five-day workshop was held by the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), in collaboration with the IMO andMaritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), to develop strategies to protect the marine environment in West and Central Africa.

The conference, which investigated the implementation of an integrated coast guard network for West and Central Africa, sought to combat crime associated with piracy and armed robbery against ships, drug trafficking and weapons, unlawful and improper fishing, and illegal migration.

In his opening address, the Director General of the GMA, Issaka Peter Azuma, is reported to have said that the main object of the network is to strengthen regional cooperation and build the requisite capacity for enhanced maritime safety.

The reports add that out of 25 member countries of MOWCA, 18 countries were represented at the workshop, including France, the United Kingdom, United States of America and Lithuania.