Piracy, Maritime Awareness and Risks

As one of the EU initiatives to ensure maritime security and counter piracy, the JRC helps African authorities – in the context of the Piracy, Maritime Awareness and Risks - Maritime Security (PMAR-MASE) project – to build up their own capacities for maritime awareness. Maritime awareness allows them to know what is happening at sea and recognise threats in time.
In two previous PMAR projects, around the Horn of Africa from 2010 to 2012 and in the Gulf of Guinea from 2011 to 2013, the Blue Hub was used to develop an experimental system with state-of-the-art software providing Maritime Situational Awareness. For dealing with piracy incidents, the system PIRATES (Piracy Incident Reporting And InformaTion Exchange System) has been developed.

PMAR-MASE: Supporting operations centres off East Africa

The PMAR-MASE project is aimed at capacity building for maritime security and counter-piracy in the Eastern and Southern African / Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) region. It focuses on familiarisation with Maritime Situational Awareness. It will provide the ship traffic picture off East Africa, in real-time and as monthly statistics, for one year to two operational centres: the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC) of the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) in Mombasa, Kenya; and the Anti-Piracy Unit of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) in the Seychelles. The ship traffic picture will be mostly based on automatic ship reporting data from the AIS and LRIT systems, complemented by imagery from earth observation satellites. The project will run for 15 months, between July 2014 and October 2015. Beyond the two operational centres, the results should benefit the entire region.

Contracting Authority: Indian Ocean Commission (IOC)

Funding: European Union - EuropeAid 10th European Development Fund

Envelope program: Programme to promote Regional Maritime Security (MASE)

The attached presentation file [4 MB] of the project was given on 1 April 2015 at a meeting of the National Focal Points of the EU-funded MASE program for maritime security in the Eastern-Southern Africa / Indian Ocean region. The meeting was organised by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) who implement “Results 4 and 5” of the MASE program, and the audience consisted of representatives from Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, La Réunion, Djibouti and Somalia plus regional organisations IGAD, COMESA, EAC, EASF, ECCAS and the African Union. The EU was represented by the EU Delegation Mauritius, EUNAVFOR and the JRC.


The JRC software system for registering, analysing and sharing piracy incident information has been trialled in the Gulf of Guinea region from 2011 to 2013 to ensure that it meets user requirements and leads to the maximum possible level of regional capacity building. The follow-up of the trial is being discussed with international organisations that have shown interest to take over PIRATES to ensure long-tern continuity. Monthly reports have been produced during the project containing the latest information on piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea region.

PMAR Workshop, 20-22 November 2012, Mombasa (Kenya)

At the PMAR Workshop taking place in Mombasa, Kenya, on 20-22 November 2012, the results of the PMAR study were presented to maritime authorities and international organisations in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean region. It was explained how the MSP system developed by the JRC can help the maritime authorities in obtaining and maintaining their own maritime awareness. Presentations were given by the European Commission (JRC and DG DEVCO), the EU Delegation in Kenya, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the US Naval Forces and the EU-funded projects MARSIC and CRIMARIO.

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