NATO Shipping Center weekly assessment

Weather conditions in the Arabian Sea and the northern Somali Basin are expected to deteriorate this upcoming week, making it unfavourable to pirate activity, particularly small boats, along the near shore of Somalia. South of the equator and towards the coastlines of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, the weather and sea-states will remain favourable to pirate activity.

The Gulf of Aden has not seen many piracy incidents last week, but is still assessed to be an active area. The northeast monsoon affects the Horn of Africa more directly than the southwest monsoon, thus piracy from small boats is likely to move deeper into the Gulf of Aden.

Whaler type and dhows/ FV’s as well as pirated merchant ships were active operating as mother ships in the deep Somali Basin as far as 65°-70°E.

The pirate activity in the approach from Seychelles south-westerly towards Mombasa and Dar es Salam, as well as the approach from the Mozambique Channel towards Dar es Salam, has not seen many incidents in the last days, but remain a “weather-permitting” area for the pirates, and are still assessed as active areas.

The whalers are 10-12 m open boats with an internal engine – capable of 6-8 knots. Mother ships include cargo- and fishing dhows, as well as the pirated vessel TAI YUAN 227 (which has been repainted by pirates as MALAYSIA 618).

All mariners transiting the described areas are warned that pirates are active herein. Vigilant watches, early detection of vessels manoeuvring too close, early reporting and the adoption of the Best Management Practices are the keys for remaining safe in the Indian Ocean within 15°S and 78°E.

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