One of the fundamental needs of seafarers and shipping has always been protection from lawless action by pirates, belligerents and rogue states.

Guarding shipping and seafarers against bad actors may have been the original justification for establishing naval military forces. It remains the most appealing one.

Recent attention to this aspect of seafarer welfare has been focused on Russian attacks on merchant shipping at the outset of the invasion of Ukraine, and on Nigeria’s seizure of a VLCC and its crew.