Weekly Piracy Assessment — Reporting period: 12 — 18 April 2012

(Updat­ed: 18 April 2012) 

Dur­ing the report­ing peri­od of 12 to 18 April 12 there was one dis­rup­tion, one attack, one approach and two reports of sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty in the High Risk Area (HRA).

As it is now the mon­soon tran­si­tion peri­od and the sea states con­tin­ue to be favourable for small boats, it is expect­ed that Pirate Attack Group (PAG) activ­i­ty will con­tin­ue to increase. 

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

On 14 April 12 there was a report of two skiffs believed to be dark grey and dark blue in colour act­ing sus­pi­cious­ly in the east­ern GOA (NSC 017/12). These two skiffs may have been work­ing with a 30m ves­sel of unknown descrip­tion in the area. 

Mas­ters are advised that, due to the favourable con­di­tions for small boats, fish­ing activ­i­ty is like­ly to increase. When con­tact­ing UKMTO and the NSC to pro­vide infor­ma­tion on sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty, please pro­vide as much detail as pos­si­ble. Mas­ters are request­ed to ensure they dis­tin­guish between fish­ing ves­sels and poten­tial pirates when able as fish­er­men may car­ry small arms. 

Ara­bi­an Sea (AS)/Greater Soma­li Basin (SB)/ Gulf of Oman (GOO)/Mozambique Chan­nel (MC)

On 16 April 12, Naval Counter-Pira­cy forces have dis­rupt­ed a dhow based PAG in the north­ern Ara­bi­an Sea. 

On 16 April 12, there was a report of sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty involv­ing one dhow and one skiff approx­i­mate­ly 60nm off the coast of Tan­za­nia, in vicin­i­ty of 09 48 54 S 040 31 24 E (Alert 034/12).

On 14 April a mer­chant ves­sel was approached by one skiff in the north­ern Ara­bi­an Sea, in posi­tion 16 54N 065 59E (NSC 018/12). This is the same sit­u­a­tion that was report­ed in NAVWARN 036/12 and Alert 033/12, which can be found at www.mschoa.org.

On 13 April 12 a mer­chant ves­sel was attacked approx­i­mate­ly 50nm off the coast of Mozam­bique, in posi­tion 11 18 S, 041 00 E (Alert 032/12)

There are still sus­pect­ed Pirate Attack Groups (PAGs) off the coasts of Oman, Yemen, and Somalia. 

Spe­cif­ic areas of sus­pect­ed and 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, in con­junc­tion with mas­ters’ adher­ence and imple­men­ta­tion of BMP4, have sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduced the pirates’ abil­i­ty to cap­ture ves­sels. As demon­strat­ed with Alert 030/12 on 06 Apr 12, Soma­li pirates have shown the abil­i­ty to act far off the coast of Soma­lia, even out into the GOO. NSC 016/12, from 09 April 12, also illus­trates that Soma­li pirates are posi­tion­ing them­selves close to the traf­fic lanes in search of ves­sels of oppor­tu­ni­ty, such as those who are not read­i­ly employ­ing BMP4 rec­om­mend­ed Ship Pro­tec­tion mea­sures; a reminder that pira­cy can occur at any time. In the north­ern SB and AS the pre­ferred moth­er­ships are local dhows, where­as in the south­ern SB, 8 metre whalers are pre­ferred as motherships. 

Ear­ly reg­is­tra­tion with MSCHOA before enter­ing the HRA and reg­u­lar report­ing to UKMTO are high­ly rec­om­mend­ed, as per Sec­tion 5 of BMP4. Pru­dent and time­ly imple­men­ta­tion of all rec­om­mend­ed actions and ship hard­en­ing mea­sures in BMP4 can make the impor­tant dif­fer­ence of being approached, attacked, or pirated. 

Mas­ters are remind­ed that a large num­ber of fish­ing ves­sels oper­ate in the South­ern Red Sea (SRS), Bab al-Man­deb (BAM) and up to 50 nm off the west coast of India. Fish­ing ves­sels may approach a mer­chant ship in order to max­imise fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties or to safe­guard fish­ing nets. Fish­ing off the coast of India is gen­er­al­ly car­ried out by mech­a­nized or sin­gle hull boats with out­board motor car­ry­ing 4–5 crew and using long lines. 

Allied Com­mand Oper­a­tions

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