(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