Drop in Somali Piracy

Over the last three months we have noticed a drop in Somali pirates’ attacks. So we should be thinking again about the nature of the Somali pirate threat and what actually ship owners and operators should do in response.

Regarding the drop in Somali pirate attack, if you compare July, August and September of this year with the previous six months, you will notice a substantial drop in pirate activity. The attacks are separated in four categories: suspicious approach where skiffs usually approach a commercial vessel in a manner that suggests they have piratical intend, vessel fire- upon where people make a suspicious approach open fire on the target vessel, boarding and robbery where the pirates actually manage to get on the vessel and hijack. Over the last three months, we have seen a substantial drop in all these four categories. So, why this has happened? Why we have this drop in attacks?

The first reason is the weather. The summer monsoon makes it much harder for pirate skiffs to operate. Therefore this period from July to September always sees a significant drop in pirate attacks about of 20-30%. This year, February, March and April attacks were cordially 24, 17, 13, so it is about 20-30% drop. The second reason is navies. Naval patrol has particularly helped in the reduction. However, political will to continue this expenditure is limited, so first world presence is likely to decrease. Another reason is Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) which has led to a significant fall in the number of vessels fired upon. It is true that pirates do not open fire once they see PCASP going through escalation of force measures. But still the proportion of suspicious approaches remains relatively high; pirates still approach vessels but then do not convert approach into an attack because of the armed guards on board.

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Article courtesy of Safety4Sea.

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