The European Commission organised an event concerning piracy and armed robbery. These acts are a serious threat not only to the lives of seafarers but to maritime transport as a whole. It is essential that all those concerned continue to act decisively and that the necessary measures are implemented systematically to prevent seamen from falling victim to such attacks and to protect the economy of the marine transport sector.
EU Counter Piracy Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR) have tracked down and stopped a group of suspected pirates who were believed to have tried to attack a Hong-Kong flagged tanker approximately 400 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.
Piracy along the coast of Somalia threatens one of the fundamental foundations of an interconnected global economic system: freedom of navigation on the high seas, Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro says. “In a globalized world, the impact of piracy in one area of the world can cause a ripple effect greater in magnitude than ever before,” Shapiro said March 27 in remarks at the Washington-based Center for American Progress, a public policy research center.
A Pakistani negotiator for a Malaysian-owned ship held by Somali pirates says he has reached agreement to free the crew in exchange for a ransom of almost $3 million.The pirates have been holding MV Albedo for more than a year.
During the reporting period of 22-28 March 12 there was one merchant vessel (MV), and one dhow hijacked (Alert 027/12, NSC 014/12), and three attacks against MVs (Alerts 024/12, 025/12, 026/12), as well as two areas of suspicious activity reported in the HRA (NSC 013/12, NSC 014/12).
Captain Pottengal Mukundan, Director of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) was invited to MC Northwood to meet with the staff of the NATO Shipping Center to maintain and strengthen the dialogue between the two organizations which work to provide the maritime community with the best information products possible to avoid piracy.
The news of the release of Judith Tebbutt has brought the subject of the payment of ransoms back to the front pages of British newspapers. None would begrudge Judith Tebbutt or her family the joy and relief of her release.And yet one sees again that payment of ransom is, in some cases, heavily criticised. Many subscribe it seems to Kipling’s adage: that if once you pay Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane (or in this case pirate). The poem makes a good read to Victorian eyes, but it is (fatally) flawed.
While some industry players have praised the European Union decision to allow EU Navfor to fight piracy on Somali soil as a "step in the right direction", others say they need to see more detail before they can support the move.The EU confirmed today that it had extended the area of operations to include Somali coastal land and internal waters. At the same time, it said that Operation Atalanta would continue off the Somali coast until December 2014.
The SOS SaveOurSeafarers campaign welcomes the extension of the EU counter- piracy operation until end 2014, and the EU decision to broaden the scope of its naval operation in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean by extending the naval forces’ area of operations to include Somali coastal territory which allows it to take more robust action on the Somali coast.
Although the Somali pirates have to work harder and harder to steal a ransom-worthy ship these days, they are still bringing in over $12 million in ransom for the 2-3 ships they get paid to release each month. As the anti-piracy patrol and ship operators have become more efficient at dealing with pirates, it's become harder for pirates to even get into position to make an attack, and even then, fewer than 20 percent of the attacks succeed. _