Weekly Piracy Assessment — Reporting period: 08–14 March 2012

(Updat­ed: 14 March 2012)
Dur­ing the report­ing peri­od of 08–14 March 12 there have been two pira­cy relat­ed inci­dents in the High Risk Area (HRA): one ves­sel was approached by sus­pect­ed pirates (NSC 012/12) and one mer­chant ves­sel was attacked (Alert 020/12). As the mon­soon peri­od is over and the sea state becomes more favourable for small boats, it is expect­ed that Pirate Attack Group (PAG) activ­i­ty will increase.

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

On 09 March a mer­chant ves­sel wit­nessed a dhow tow­ing three skiffs act­ing sus­pi­cious­ly (NSC 012/12) approx­i­mate­ly 150NM North West of Soco­tra in vicin­i­ty of 1420N 05239E. Mas­ters are advised to tran­sit this area with extreme cau­tion but are also remind­ed that the BAM and South­ern Red Sea (SRS) are areas of high fish­ing activ­i­ty. Fish­ing ves­sels may approach a mer­chant ship in order to max­imise fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties or to warn ships from get­ting too close to their fish­ing nets. Mas­ters are request­ed to ensure they dis­tin­guish between fish­ing ves­sels and poten­tial pirates; fish­er­men may car­ry small arms. 

Ara­bi­an Sea (AS)/Greater Soma­li Basin (SB)
PAGs are active in the North Ara­bi­an Sea and there con­tin­ues to be sus­pi­cious pirate relat­ed activ­i­ty off the Omani Coast, although the only attack dur­ing the report­ing peri­od occurred in a dif­fer­ent loca­tion. On 11 March a ves­sel was attacked 210NM East of Soco­tra in posi­tion 1313N 05750E (Alert 020/12). The ves­sel escaped through suc­cess­ful use of Best Man­age­ment Prac­tices (BMP4) pro­ce­dures. Mas­ters are advised to pro­ceed through these areas with extreme cau­tion, and be advised that the PAGs respon­si­ble for the recent approach­es in the north Ara­bi­an Sea are still believed to be in the area. Spe­cif­ic areas of known PAG loca­tions can be found on our PAG map here: http://www.shipping.nato.int/operations/OS/Pages/PAGmap.aspx Details of all alerts can be found on NSC Alert details web­page: http://www.shipping.nato.int/Pages/AllAlerts.aspx

Counter Pira­cy Guid­ance Update
Suc­cess­ful dis­rup­tions by naval forces over the past few months, com­ple­ment­ed by mas­ters’ adher­ence and imple­men­ta­tion of BMP4, 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 AS and the north­ern SB the pre­ferred moth­er­ships are local dhows, where­as in the south­ern SB, 8 metre whalers are pre­ferred as motherships. 

Pru­dent and time­ly appli­ca­tion of BMP4 can make the impor­tant dif­fer­ence of being approached, attacked, or pirat­ed. If any inci­dent occurs, Mas­ters are request­ed to report imme­di­ate­ly to UKMTO via tele­phone and pro­vide the details of the inci­dent. This will ensure the infor­ma­tion is pro­vid­ed to oth­er ships in the area for their aware­ness and vig­i­lance. If Mas­ters are safe­ly able to take pic­tures and/or video of the sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty, please pro­vide these via email to UKMTO (ukmto@eim.ae), the NATO Ship­ping Cen­tre (info@shipping.nato.int) and MSCHOA (postmaster@mschoa.org).

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