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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Latest ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 16 August 2006)


Latest Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping information found here. Highlights:
1. SOMALIA: Somalia’s Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) seized control of Harardhere, per 13 Aug reporting. The central township near the coastline has been a base of piracy and dozens of
hijackings of ships in the Indian Ocean. Islamic courts official Sheikh Said Ali told reporters that the Islamic Courts are in full control of Harardhere. He claimed the era of banditry and piracy was over and the actions of pirates were unlawful, unacceptable,
and un-Islamic. Ali warned that anybody suspected of aiding pirates or being among them will be punished according to Sharia law. Residents of Harardhere said the pirates, calling themselves the Defenders of Somali Territorial Waters and loyal to regional warlord Abdi Mohamed Afweyne, fled before the Islamic militiamen
battlewagons arrived...
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1. GULF OF OMAN: Containership reported suspicious approach 12 Aug at 0830 local time while underway in the Gulf of Oman, approximately 25 NM South of the Iranian coast. Ten to twelve individuals in a wooden hulled (brown) boat with white superstructure approached the containership. A man was on top of the superstructure waving a cloth. Master took evasive maneuvers to avoid the approaching boat. Suspicious boat increased speed (12-14 kts) and tried to approach the vessel despite vessel’s attempts to avoid close approach. Master raised alarm and crew mustered and activated fire hoses. After 15 minutes, suspicious vessel altered course and left the area (Operator, IMB).
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2. INDONESIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Indonesian Papua province fisherman shot dead 08 Aug by Papua New Guinea (PNG) military off Jayapura near the border betweenIndonesia and Papua New Guinea. Indonesian authorities claim the incident occurred in Indonesian territorial waters while PNG authorities claim the incident occurred in PNG territorial waters. Both governments are working to investigate the details of the incident. ONI Comment: Unfortunately, accidental casualties are often incurred in areas where fishing rights are in question (Hong Kong AFP, ONI).
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1. JAPAN/RUSSIA: Japanese fishing vessel (KISSHIN MARU No 31) was fired on by a Russian coast guard patrol boat 16 Aug near Kaigara islands, northeast of Hokkaido, Japan. One fisherman was fatally shot. Russian authorities have sized the vessel, which reportedly failed to obey orders to stop. Japanese Coast Guard authorities dispatched two patrol boats to the scene following the incident. Both governments are working to investigate the details of the incident. Kaigara island is reportedly administered by Russia and claimed by Japan. ONI Comment: Unfortunately, accidental casualties are often incurred in areas where fishing
rights are in question (AFP, LM).
More on the Russian-Japanese spat here and here. The latter link also refers to a Taiwan-Japanese dispute over another set of islands, the Senkaku Islands.
UPDATE: Russians give back a body, keep the fishing boat as reported here.

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