Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) welcomed delegates to the latest SHADE (Shared Awareness and Deconfliction) conference on counter-piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean in Bahrain on 22 November.
A wide range of organisations was represented, including delegates from CMF, EU Naval Forces (EU NAVFOR), the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organisation (UKMTO), The Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC HOA), US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and NATO, independent navies from around the world, global shipping organisations and other industry partners, who gathered to discuss regional maritime security issues.
SHADE is a biannual event, co-chaired by CMF and EU NAVFOR, to discuss the international response to piracy, bringing together the widest possible set of stakeholders. The diversification and proliferation of wider maritime security threats in the Gulf of Aden and the Southern Red Sea, which prompted the establishment of the Maritime Security Transit Corridor, was a focus of discussion at this, the 41st SHADE.
As highlighted by recent events, the threat of piracy persists. The ongoing partnership between CMF, EU NAVFOR and all other agencies and actors in the region remains vital in ensuring the safe passage of vessels and the development of a safe and secure maritime environment.
This has been demonstrated by recent events in the region, with the successful detention of six Somalia-based suspected pirates by EU NAVFOR, following a failed attack on a container ship 300 miles east of Mogadishu and a Fishing Vessel in the same vicinity on the following day.
As threats and risks in the Gulf of Aden, southern Red Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb waters become increasingly dynamic, the need to achieve close and effective collaboration between all stakeholders requires constant training, alongside the development of appropriate, acceptable and well understood policy and procedures.