ECSA and ETF express deep concerns over recent attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden

15 Dec 2023

European shipowners and seafarers’ unions are deeply concerned by the recent surge in attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea area and the Gulf of Aden.

The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) call for immediate action to urgently address this alarming situation. The lives and safety of our seafarers are put at risk, with attacks increasing on a daily basis. Seafarers are the beating heart of the shipping industry, and their ability to perform their duties without fear for their safety is essential. 

ECSA stresses that shipping is the cornerstone of Europe's security - from energy to food and supply chain security. Protecting key shipping routes and the international principle of freedom of navigation is essential to guarantee the security of the continent.   

 "The recent attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea area are deeply concerning. ECSA strongly advocates for the enhancement of protective structures for the security of commercial vessels transiting through the area. These measures are crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of our seafarers and to enhance the security of vital trade routes. We also encourage and support all coordinated efforts, including diplomatic, contributing to maintaining the freedom of navigation” said Sotiris Raptis, ECSA Secretary General. 

 “Measures to ensure the safety and well-being of seafarers are critical and necessary to enhance the security of vital trade routes. Seafarers are key workers keeping supply chains moving and deserve protection” said Livia Spera, ETF General Secretary.



About ECSA

ECSA represents 20 national shipowners’ associations based in the EU and Norway. European shipowners control 39.5% of the global commercial fleet, contribute 149 billion euros per year to the EU GDP and provide 2 million Europeans with careers both on board and ashore. ECSA strives for a regulatory environment that fosters the international competitiveness of European shipping, to the benefit of the EU.

About ETF 

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) is a pan-European trade union organisation which embraces transport trade unions from the European Union, the European Economic Area and Central and Eastern European countries.  The ETF represents more than 5 million transport workers from more than 200 transport unions and 38 European countries.


For press and media inquiries, please contact ECSA Luisa Puccio, and ETF Nikolaos Koletsis