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Shipping & armed protection companies in the gulf

Martyn Lowe

As it has been well reported in the news, over the last years there has been an increase in pirate attacks upon both tanker & cargo ships mostly in the coast of Somalia, the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. As these attacks continue to increase, then so has the 'armed protection' measures which are being used by the shipping industry.

The issue of piracy has become so bad along these sea routes that there are now regular navel patrols by many of the world nations in order to stamp out this growing problem. Within the last few months there have also been a lot of moves by the major shipping companies to take their own measures to counter this growing problem.

The answer to these attacks have been to provide armed protection and with this opening up a complete new market for defence and security companies.
Last month (February 2011) there was an < a href="http://www.imo.org/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/08-28-feb-piracy">International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting with representatives of countries that participate in the anti-piracy campaign off the coast of Somalia, the meeting stressed the need of making available naval assets and military aircraft to protect the industry. Amongst other thing the meeting concluded that: “navies should continue their efforts to support, deter, intervene, arrest and forward pirates to be tried”.
It is not only the world navies which are taking measures to “protect” commercial shipping within the gulf. Private companies have seen a whole new market opening, two of these companies are: Gulf of Aden Group Transits Ltd - which offers armed guards upon commercial ships and Naval Guards, which runs its own fleet of ex navy vessels.

This is just another example of the growing business of private military contractors.

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