sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Somali pirate attacks wane, hope for yachts, but not soon
Somali pirate attacks wane, hope for yachts, but not soon

'Piracy patrolling is having an effect, but if the ships disappeared it would come back'    .

Pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean have dropped 27 percent since 2009, when reports of armed bandits off the coast of Somalia drew navies from throughout the world to protect trade routes, and not one cruising sailor was attacked in 2012. But that doesn't mean you can sail the West Indian Ocean any time soon.

The seas are still far from safe and the most dangerous of all for the low decked sailing boat. However, a new government in Somalia, regional cooperation and talking to the Somalian villagers is having an effect. There's hope for the future.

The situation updated:
There were 297 piracy attacks and 28 hijackings worldwide in 2012, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center. Of those, 75 incidents were tied to Somali pirates, who captured 250 hostages last year.

'The numbers of successful pirate attacks are going down, but I am also pretty sure that as soon as we turn away and go somewhere else, they will be back in big numbers,' Dutch Navy Commodore Ben Bekkering, the former commander of the NATO counterpiracy task force, said in a telephone interview.

In recent years, NATO and the United States have led multinational anti-piracy security campaigns off East Africa. Some shipping companies have armed vessels with private guards and barbed wire. An international campaign to make it easier to prosecute pirates also has contributed to the piracy decline, experts said.

Piracy attacks climbed to 406 in 2009, according to the maritime bureau.

Although the number of pirate attacks has markedly declined, the conditions that make piracy a lucrative pursuit in East Africa — poverty, political instability and lawlessness — remain endemic across the region.

'There is an endless supply of young Somali men who have no other economic opportunities,' Jennifer Cooke, African program director for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington told Stars & Stripes this week. 'It’s a problem that is going to be big with us for a long time.'

Until that changes, it’s unlikely a reduction in foreign security will result in anything but an uptick in piracy attacks, because East Africa’s anemic navies and coast guards are not capable of fully guarding the region’s coast and the heavily trafficked international waters beyond, military leaders and analysts said.

'Maritime security is really a very low-tier issue in most African security priorities,' Cooke said. 'The economic motives of both the kingpins of piracy who are doing well, as well as for the lower level echelons who go out on the piracy ships themselves — there are very few things that are going to replace that.'

Meanwhile, the spotlight on East Africa has emboldened pirates in less-patrolled regions. Piracy attacks have nearly tripled since 2011 along Africa’s west coast near Nigeria, according to the maritime bureau, while Indonesia saw 81 incidents in 2012, up from a total of 46 the previous year.

Nearly 100 nations, including the United States and members of the European Union, have embraced multiple international efforts in recent years aimed at wiping out piracy. The U.S. Navy has been actively training with various east African navies and coast guards in Tanzania, Kenya and Djibouti with the hope that one day Africa will be able to tackle the problem on its own.

Private shipping companies have been urged by governments to beef up security on their vessels with hired guards and by storing goods in secure containers, which also is attributed to driving down the number of piracy attacks.

Nevertheless, even off the coast of Somalia, where an Islamist insurgency has been largely brought to heel, and there are tentative moves to revive commerce, pirate attacks continue.

U.S. defense leaders have increasingly cited Africa as a strategic region for security and trade. In recent years, the U.S. Navy has gone from spending only a few weeks on the continent for training and various operations, to maintaining a nearly year-round presence.

More than 41 percent of all global trade goes through African routes, including 55 percent of seaborne crude oil trade, according to the Navy. In all, maritime piracy costs $16 billion each year, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

NATO and other counterpiracy coalitions have embraced a more proactive approach in recent months that focuses on containing the pirates along the Somali coast, in addition to hunting them down at sea.

'We believe if you show your face right up to the coast, if you talk to the local people there, if you are there where the pirates want to deploy, then you stop them from going out to sea in the first place,' Bekkering, said.

Bekkering said he held eight meetings with various village elders in Somalia in 2012 to discuss how piracy can strangle the local economy by limiting regular trade opportunities.

'They created this sort of Robin Hood tale and I think the people in Somalia are slowly starting to realize that they are not Robin Hood at all, that they are just criminals,' Bekkering said.

Nevertheless, there are regular reports of attempted pirate attacks, though often foiled before the pirates climb aboard merchant ships. That is in part due to the beefed-up security onboard cargo vessels and in part due the proximity of international naval forces patrolling the area and able to respond quickly and take suspected pirates into custody.

The U.S. and other countries also are moving more aggressively to prosecute pirates, experts said.

The International Criminal Police Organization announced last year that it had created a global piracy database to help identify criminal networks and pool intelligence. Any government prosecuting pirates can request information.

The European Union Naval Force has captured 128 suspected pirates since 2008. Of those, 75 have been convicted. The United States has had 28 pirates transferred to its courts, with 19 convicted and sentenced since 2009, according to the U.S. Justice Department. The others are awaiting trial.

The United States last year convicted the highest-level pirate captured in modern times, Mohammad Saaili Shibin, a midlevel negotiator responsible for arranging the ransom of four U.S. citizens held hostage on an American yacht in 2011 and in the hijacking of a German merchant vessel in 2010. Shibin was sentenced to 12 life sentences.

In most cases, the leaders behind the piracy rings have remained anonymous.

'High-level pirates have been caught and released because we don’t know who they are,' said Stig Jarle Hansen, a piracy researcher and head of the International Relations Program at the University of Life Sciences in Norway. 'We have been very bad at understanding the dynamics of the cartels, we have been very bad at following the money trails.'

A new government in Somalia has awakened hopes that the country will soon be able to arrest and detain its hometown criminals. Until then, regional partners are filling the gap.

Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago off the southern coast of Somalia, has become a key anti-piracy operating base, with more than 100 suspected pirates in custody, a quarter of the nation’s jail population.

'Most of the warship vessels operating in the Indian Ocean are from countries located far from the region. … It is already very costly to transfer them to their own country for trial,' said Jacques Belle, a piracy expert for the Indian Ocean Commission and a former anti-piracy representative for the ministry of foreign affairs in Seychelles.


by Des Ryan

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=105760

12:32 AM Mon 21 Jan 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Piracy and the Cruising sailor

Related News Stories:

18 Jan 2013  Piracy Report - not a single yacht attacked in 2012
07 Jan 2013  Now Dad's Navy takes charge of pirate prevention
29 Oct 2012  Pirated sailors away on their dream sail
08 Oct 2012  Indian Ocean 'High Risk Area': Sailing yachts urged to stay away
19 Sep 2012  Pirate victims tell: What really happened
10 Sep 2012  Couple kidnapped by pirates triumph by setting sail again
29 Aug 2012  Piracy on the downturn in Somali waters
17 Jul 2012  Somali piracy - dramatic drop in incidents
03 Jul 2012  The Human Cost - why cruising sailors should avoid pirate zones
27 Jun 2012  Freed South African sailors to reach Johannesburg today
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World









420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,






























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay


















America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,










Help clean up the sailing water at Rio - Image Gallery
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe On the Final two days of the Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
International Moth Worlds - Victory for Nathan Outteridge + Video   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT