NATO — Weekly Piracy Assessment: 09–15 February 2012

Report­ing peri­od: 09–15 Feb­ru­ary 2012 (Updat­ed: 15 Feb­ru­ary 2012)

Dur­ing the report­ing peri­od of 09 – 15 Feb­ru­ary 2012 there has been a high vol­ume of pirate relat­ed activ­i­ties com­pared to the pre­vi­ous week. One mer­chant ship was pirat­ed and one approach occurred over the report­ing peri­od.

Accord­ing to an arti­cle pub­lished in Soma­lia Report (US-reg­is­tered Soma­li news web­site) the pirate oper­a­tions will begin for some pirates on 20th Feb­ru­ary. The arti­cle stat­ed that the pirate groups are divid­ed in two; the one who oper­ates through­out the Waji­ilo (mon­soon) sea­son and the one who prefers to wait for bet­ter weath­er. As the mon­soon peri­od comes to an end and the sea state becomes more favourable for small boats, it is expect­ed that Pirate Attack Group (PAG) activ­i­ty will increase in the short term. 

South­ern Red Sea (SRS)/Bab Al Man­deb (BAM) / Gulf of Aden (GOA)/Internationally Rec­om­mend­ed Tran­sit Cor­ri­dor (IRTC)

The lev­el of pira­cy activ­i­ty was increased in this region dur­ing this report­ing peri­od. A lot of sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty was report­ed in the BAM but it was not spe­cif­ic enough to issue an alert. Mas­ters are remind­ed that a large num­ber of fish­ing ves­sels oper­ate in the South­ern Red Sea (SRS). The fish­ing ves­sels may approach a mer­chant ship in order to max­imise fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and to warn ships from get­ting too close to their fish­ing nets. PAGs are also becom­ing more active against Dhows. One dhow was robbed in vicin­i­ty of Salalah (Oman) on 14th Feb­ru­ary around 1600Z. A dhow was report­ed hijacked on 12th Feb­ru­ary fol­low­ing depar­ture from Bosas­so en route to Berbera (Soma­liland). A pho­to of this dhow is pro­vid­ed and mas­ters are cau­tioned that it could be used as moth­er­ship for pirates. 

Ara­bi­an Sea (AS)/Greater Soma­li Basin (SB)

The MV Free God­dess was hijacked in the Ara­bi­an Sea at posi­tion 1605N 06226E (Alert 012/12). One mer­chant ship report­ed sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty (NSC 07/12) approx­i­mate­ly 120nm east of the coast of Oman (2001N 06039E). Mas­ters are advised to pro­ceed through these areas with extreme cau­tion, and be advised that the PAG respon­si­ble for the recent approach­es in the Greater Soma­li Basin is still believe to be in the area. 

Details of all of the alerts can be found on our Alert Details web­page. A link to this page can be found here:

Counter Pira­cy Guid­ance Update

Suc­cess­ful dis­rup­tions by counter pira­cy forces over the past few months, com­ple­ment­ed by mas­ters’ adher­ence and imple­men­ta­tion of BMP, have sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduced the pirates’ abil­i­ty to cap­ture ves­sels. How­ev­er, pirates con­tin­ue their attempts to hijack any ves­sels of oppor­tu­ni­ty; a reminder that pira­cy can occur at any time. In the north­ern SB and AS it has been noticed that the pre­ferred moth­er ships are local dhows, where­as in the south­ern SB the pref­er­ence is to use 8 metre whalers as moth­er ships. 

Pru­dent and time­ly appli­ca­tion of BMP can make the impor­tant dif­fer­ence of being approached, attacked, or being pirat­ed. Mas­ters are encour­aged to get as much detail as pos­si­ble includ­ing pho­tographs or video of any ves­sel act­ing in a sus­pi­cious manner. 

Allied Com­mand Oper­a­tions

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