Recent attacks against merchant shipping by pirates and armed robbers in Philippines, Western Indian Ocean and Red Sea Regions have highlighted the risks associated with transiting these waters. SQE MARINE consulting company informs about the new security transit corridors which have been set in the aforementioned areas.
Moro Gulf & Basilan Strait
The Philippine Department of Transportation in order to address the increasing threats to shipping in the areas of Moro Gulf and Basilan Strait launched a Recommended Transit Corridor (RTC) to prevent or suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery transiting said maritime areas.
All vessels transiting Moro Gulf and Basilan Strait, except government vessels utilized for maritime law enforcement, should follow this RTC. The RTC is not a traffic separation scheme. The reason behind the RTC is to provide PCG and other law enforcement units’ awareness over the operating environment in and around areas of Moro Gulf and Basilan Strait by designating transit areas where vessels can be easily monitored and law enforcement units are deployed nearby.
The RTC shall be reflected on the NAMRIA Chart 4511 and Chart 4708. The corridor includes an inbound and an outbound transit lane that will be 1 nm wide and will be separated by a 0.50 nm buffer zone.
The geographical position regarding the two lanes is:
In the below map the two (2) transit lanes are clearly depicted within the Moro Gulf:
Gulf of Aden & Bab Al Mandep
The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) recently informed about a new Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC) to address the multiple types of risks dealing with transits through the Gulf of Aden, Bab Al Mandep, and associated waters.
The purpose of this corridor is to provide a recommended merchant traffic route around which Naval Forces can focus their presence and surveillance efforts. The formation of the MSTC has no effect on the use or timings of Group Sails or escorted transits of the IRTC. These will continue to be scheduled and executed as previous and IRTC points will remain existent.
The MSTC will consist of:
- The Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC)
- The BAM TSS and the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) West of the Hanish Islands
- A two-way route directly connecting the IRTC and the BAM TSS
Two-way route directly connecting the IRTC and the BAM TSS:
SQE MARINE advises operators to provide every vessel with an effective Ship Security Plan and follow the recommended MSTC regarding the High Risk Areas. In addition, operators are advised to follow best practices as per BMP-4 and consider the use of embarked armed security. The crews are required to be adequately trained and familiarized with any protective measures on board.