Oceans Beyond Piracy Reveals Research Findings on Long‐term Impact of Maritime Piracy on Hostages

June 30, 2016
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Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), a program of the One Earth Future (OEF) Foundation focused on reducing violence at sea, has released a new report titled "After the Release: The Long‐term Impact of Piracy on Seafarers and Their Families." OEF's Research Director Conor Seyle, Ph.D. delivered a main stage presentation exploring the findings of this multi‐year research project at the ISWAN International Day of the Seafarer event in Manila at the SMX Conference Center on 25 June 2016

The report, developed in partnership with ISWAN/MPHRP and supported by The TK Foundation, documents significant negative long‐term impacts to seafarers who have been taken hostage following an act of maritime piracy. Notably, seafarers who had been held hostage were nearly six times more likely to exhibit symptoms like post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. However, those impacts can be alleviated through training and programs focused on seafarer well‐being.

According to Seyle, "Our research shows that piracy can leave lasting impacts on seafarers and their families, especially for those seafarers who had been held hostage. Seafarers are a psychologically resilient group. Most will recover with assistance and support, and the likelihood of recovery can be maximized by good training, planning and communication before an attack, support for families while seafarers are hostages and a process of reintegration and formal mental health support for hostages and their families once they have returned."

The report is based on interviews with 167 seafarers from the Philippines, 153 from Ukraine and 145 from India. Seyle went on to say: "Other negative events at sea can also cause similar impacts; full reporting of all violent incidents at sea is therefore needed in order to understand the true magnitude of this problem and to allow relevant stakeholders to design and implement programs to better support seafarers."

An executive summary and video are available for download. The full report can be downloaded here.

For more information please contact Debra Havins of One Earth Future at +1 303‐210‐7269 or

About the Author:
Dr. Conor Seyle, director of the OEF Research Program, is a political psychologist and holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Texas. He plans and directs the activities of the research department along with conducting his own research, which focuses on questions of what predicts and what resolves political conflict. Dr. Seyle is a FEMA‐approved trainer for the Crisis Counseling Program (the US governmental response to disaster‐impacts or traumas).

About OEF and OBP:
OEF is an independent and privately funded foundation located in Colorado, USA, with a mission to catalyze multi‐stakeholder cooperation to eliminate root causes of conflict. We focus on enhancing maritime cooperation, creating sustainable jobs in fragile economies and our research actively contributes to thought leadership on global issues.

OBP was launched in 2010 as OEF's f rst implementation program to encourage and support the development of a long‐term, sustainable and peaceful solution to maritime piracy through engaging all relevant maritime stakeholders.

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