On September 21st National representatives from 32 countries met in Bahrain along with International Law Enforcement Representatives, Shipping Industry representatives and representatives of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), European Union Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR) Maritime Security Council, Horn of Africa (MSC HOA) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to discuss the counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin.
The SHADE meeting was established to provide a forum in which the various military elements engaged in counter-piracy operations in the region, have a means to discuss their successes and challenges in the dynamic area of operations. The forum is also a means of offering new practices and establishing co-ordination on activities. SHADE also provides interaction with representatives of the shipping industry which raises the concerns of the merchant traffic that transit through the region and allows military commanders to understand the concerns and limitations of the companies who derive their livelihood from activities that require them to transit the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC).
One of the significant topics of conversation was the Best Management Practices doctrine which gives advice and guidance to International Shipping community who transit through the Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin and Indian Ocean. Participants to SHADE agreed that the guidance in this document should be widely disseminated to mariners in a range of languages and that all vessels transiting through the ITRC should be adopting the practices.