Blind them with light, drench them with water cannons or deafen them with sound blasts: these are some of the on-board anti-pirate features that figure in a project being developed in France.The project was presented Thursday and Friday in Nantes in western France to some 400 delegates attending MARISK, a forum on shipping security.A series of traps and non-lethal defenses are set to be installed on board the Partisan, a French military training vessel, in a 12-million-euro project piloted by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.
The Philippines has given Manila-flagged merchant vessels the go-ahead to deploy private security groups to minimize the risk Filipino seafarers face from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. The move, however, is “subject to Philippine shipping companies” adherence to strict guidelines promulgated by the Maritime Industry Authority and the International Maritime Organization,” the DFA said Monday.
Over the past several years, the pirates of Somalia have enjoyed what might be called a following wind. They operate in a country where government authority is weak and in many areas non-existent. They have the longest coastline of any African country to exploit (3,300 kms), and some of the world’s busiest sea-lanes within easy reach. They have a ready pool of recruits, desperate for a share of the millions that they garner from ransoming merchant ships and their crews.
The fight against piracy is an international effort. This is especially clear off the coast of Somalia, where a recent meeting at sea between Rear Admiral (LH) Sinan Azmi Tosun, the Commander of NATO's Counter Piracy Mission, Operation Ocean Shield, and his Chinese counterpart, Rear Admiral LI Shihong, illustrates how cooperation is the key to fighting this global threat.
Reports from the region regarding the rescue of two hostages today by US forces paint a vivid picture of the fragmented society that has spawned the current wave of pirate attacks. A unit deployed in the area consisting of US Navy Seals together with other specialist troops from Army, Navy, Marine and US Air Force factions has apparently been in place for some while awaiting instructions for any possible intervention in hostage or terrorist situations.
The reporting period of 19 to 25 January 2012, has been very quiet. There was one disruption, two approaches, and two reports of suspicious activity. Two individuals kidnapped by Somali pirates on 25 October 2011 were rescued on 25 January 2012.Masters are advised to be vigilant as PAGs are active and waiting for the opportunity to attack merchant ships. Masters are asked to report any suspicious activity to UKMTO and NSC.
The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) has expressed concern that perceptions are growing that piracy attacks off Somalia are on the decrease. In a recent meeting in Brussels, EUNAVFOR Operation Commander Admiral Duncan Potts was alarmed by the notion that such attacks have vastly decreased, an opinion that flies in the face of official figures which show that pirate attacks have actually increased, although successful hijackings have significantly decreased.
After three months in Somalia, Kenya claims to have killed 700 al Shabaab fighters, while only losing 12 troops (five to a helicopter accident). While some doubt the Kenyan claims, the evidence seems to reveal a much weaker al Shabaab along the Kenyan border. There was no major al Shabaab counter-attack against the few thousand Kenyan troops that moved into Somalia 93 days ago. Even guerilla type resistance has been weak and ineffective. It's not just the Kenyans who are hammering al Shabaab.
Pirates are behind the kidnapping of a foreign hostage in central Somalia, a local official said Sunday, with witnesses reporting he had been whisked off to an inaccessible jungle base.Gunmen snatched the man on Saturday on the airport road in Galkayo, a town near the border between the state of Galmudug and another self-proclaimed semi-autonomous province, Puntland, witnesses and officials said.The victim's identity remains uncertain, while local authorities said he might have dual German and US nationality.
Perceived as a global threat, piracy seems to have outpaced the efforts of the international community in 2011 to restrain it. Although the Coast of Somalia has been the main focus of piracy attacks, such activities have been affecting even some other parts of the world.The cost of measures taken to prevent and fight the piracy threat reportedly range from $7 billion to $12 billion every year. There is a tendency that such costs might exceed $18 billion in 2012.