Weekly Piracy Assessment – Reporting period: 26 April – 2 May 2012

During the reporting period of 26 April to 2 May 2012 there was one suspicious approach in the High Risk Area (HRA). This reporting period has seen a decrease in the number of incidents in the HRA. Pirate Attack Group (PAG) activity is still expected to continue. Specific areas of suspected and known PAG locations can be found on our PAG map: http://www.shipping.nato.int/operations/OS/Pages/PAGmap.aspx

When contacting UKMTO and the NSC to provide information on suspicious activity, please provide as much detail as possible, including photos if available.

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

On 29 April 2012, a merchant vessel reported a suspicious approach (NSC 019/12) by four grey skiffs in vicinity of South Red Sea (SRS) in position 1326N 04239E. The majority of the people on board two of the four skiffs were carrying weapons.

Masters are advised that fishing activity is expected to continue and likely to increase in this area over the next months.

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

There have been no significant changes over the past week for this area.

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. Somali pirates have shown the ability to act far off the coast of Somalia and in darkness. Somali pirates in search of vessels of opportunity, such as those who are not readily employing BMP4 recommended Ship Protection measures. Both dhows and whalers are being used as motherships, in the northern SB and AS the preferred motherships are local dhows, whereas in the southern SB, 8-metre whalers are preferred.

Details of all alerts can be found on NSC Alert details webpage: http://www.shipping.nato.int/Pages/AllAlerts.aspx

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 India is generally carried out by mechanized boats and single hull boats with outboard motor carrying 4-5 crew using long lines. Masters are requested to ensure they distinguish between fishing vessels and potential pirates when able; fishermen may carry small arms.

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).

Allied Command Operations