Friday, April 23, 2010

Somali Pirates' Attacks On Shipping Down From Last Year

Naval Presence Having Success
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA / INDIAN OCEAN – The latest report from the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) indicates that attacks by Somali pirates on shipping off the Horn of Africa for the first quarter of this year have dropped substantially from the same period in 2009.

According to ICC IMB, Somali pirates were responsible for 35 of the 67 piracy incidents reported worldwide during this period, down from 102 attacks last year.

The organisation, which monitors direct criminal activity aimed at shipping around the world, attributed this drop to the action that has been taken over the last few months by the international naval flotilla that has gathered in the waters off East Africa to deal with the problem.

However, the report also attributes the growing range at which attacks are occurring to this success, and urges those nations participating to continue their efforts to deal with pirate ‘mother ships’ which allow these wider-ranging predations.

The ICC IMB also praised the efforts of the Indonesian government for successfully reducing the threat of piracy in their waters. Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s these areas had been among the world’s most dangerous, but initiatives implemented since 2003 have seen violent incidents drop and most reported crimes are now low-level thefts.

Note: For those who are sailing through problem areas or whose vessels do, you can find the ICC IMB “Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Coast of Somalia” here.