Piracy remains a continuing threat to seafarers around the world. In the waters off the Somali coast, between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean and in the Strait of Malacca between the Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, piracy is on the increase.
It is estimated that US$15 billion is lost each year due to piracy and the risks to seafarers remain high.
Last year, there were more than 430 pirate attacks and 45 merchant vessels hijacked worldwide with close to 50 per cent (237 attacks and 28 hijackings) occurring in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia.
With Somali pirates potentially earning almost 150 times their country's national average wage, reports suggest that piracy is an emerging industry in the region in its own right.
As ship owners recognise the need to employ security personal and defence products aboard their vessels, companies are turning towards Aspida Maritime Security, a leading maritime security firm.
"Coming from a maritime nation we have a deep understanding of the shipping industry and its complexities," says Panos Moraitis, CEO of Aspida Maritime Security. "We offer a range of cost-effective maritime security services and products designed for all types of vessels, cargo and distances."
In the majority of cases, pirates abort an attack when a visible security presence is identified.
Aspida's security teams comprise highly experienced Greek and British operatives who have dealt with various incidents aboard Aspida guarded vessels.
While Greek shipping companies account for 50 per cent of Aspida's client base, half of the company's customers are international.
"We have developed a reputation for providing a quality service and we are now considering entering the Chinese market having seen success with our clients in countries such as South Korea," Moraitis says. "We are looking for local contacts and partners in China to facilitate communication between us and Chinese shipowners.
"With China's high trade volumes, security is essential to ensure that crews, vessels and cargo reach their destinations safely. Aspida remains one of the few security companies in the world built from the ground up to serve the maritime industry. We intend to continue to successfully protect our international clients, their crew and their maritime investments."