Ending Somali piracy requires a shift from reliance on security at sea to targeting those on land who enable the lucrative business to thrive, according to the World Bank. Although the number of attacks has markedly fallen since 2011 thanks to tougher security aboard ships and increased Western naval patrols, piracy emanating from the lawless Horn of Africa nation may still cost the world economy about $18 billion a year, the bank said in a report released on Thursday.
Attacks on two vessels in the past 10 days indicate pirates in the Gulf Guinea are expanding operational range and also becoming increasingly interested in kidnap and ransom.German boxship Hansa Marburg became the latest vessel to be attacked by Nigerian pirates on April 23, south of Bonny.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest quarterly report on Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships recorded a total of 66 incidents worldwide in the first three months of 2013. This is down markedly from the 102 incidents reported for the corresponding period in 2012.
All masters are advised to maintain heightened vigilance when at anchor and when loitering/queuing as there may be a higher likelihood of these vessels being targeted by pirates. The uniform risk to merchant vessels throughout the HRA is a reminder of the need to be alert for such activity at all times. In order to mitigate any vulnerability, it is strongly recommended that all vessels maintain a high state of readiness, implementing BMPs and citadel preparedness, while in the HRA.
According to a maritime organization, called Oceans Beyond Piracy, piracy in the coast of Somalia costs the world economy around 7 billion dollars. Of these 80 % of all costs are borne by the shipping industries while governments account for 20%. The impact of this maritime crime on Somalia itself is greater since it has greatly hindered the economic development of the country.
Since 2008, Somali pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden have made about $120 million per year in net profits. But they’ve cost the shipping industry far, far more than that — between $900 million and $3.3 billion per year.
NATO Shipping Centre has issued its Weekly Piracy Assessment for period 13-20 March 2013. During this reporting period, there were no significant event to report. NSC advices the following: All masters are advised to maintain heightened vigilance when at anchor and when loitering/queuing as there may be a higher likelihood of these vessels being targeted by pirates.
A number of international maritime groups have welcomed the recent decrease in the number of attempted and successful attacks against ships by Somalia based pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean.They include the International Maritime Organization, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), the International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA), and the International Shipping Federation (ISF).
Somalia’s president has offered an amnesty to pirates, in a move that risks angering countries that have paid millions in ransoms.President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told the AFP newswire he had offered clemency in a bid to end attacks off the Horn of Africa nation’s coast.Mr Mohamud said: “We have been negotiating with the pirates indirectly through the elders. Piracy has to end.”
On 24 February 2013, whilst on counter piracy patrols in the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) the Force Commander of EU NAVFOR, Rear Admiral Pedro García de Paredes, met with the Commander of the NATO counter-piracy Operation Ocean Shield, Rear Admiral Antonio Natale.