Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Latest ONI Worlwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 13 June 07)

Latest ONI Worlwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 13 June 07) can be found here, though unlike recent reports, the latest is in .doc format and not a text file. To review the report, you must have Microsoft Word or an equivalent program (like the free OpenOffice which is available here).

Highlights from the report:
1. MARITIME SECURITY (PIRACY) POLICY: On 14 Jun, the Office of the White House
Press Secretary released a memorandum from the President approving a Policy for the
Repression of Piracy and Other Criminal Acts of Violence at Sea (Piracy Policy) for immediate
implementation, consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
The policy shall be appended to the National Strategy for Maritime Security as Annex B. The
policy responds to the emergence of high-risk maritime areas that threaten U.S. interests. Recent
instances of piracy have highlighted the need for this policy in order to coordinate U.S.
Government response and to promote international solutions. This policy advances the U.S.
commitment to cooperate with other states, regional and international organizations, and the
maritime industry in order to counter this threat (whitehouse.gov).
2. NIGERIA: Members of the Nigerian Owners of Fish Trawlers Association raise alarm
over armed robbery attacks on their ships, per 12 Jun reporting, Lagos. The members allege that
they have lost N 1 billion and have had several personnel killed due to armed robbery gangs who
attack their ships from speedboats. However, according to Western Naval Command, only 11
ships have been reported to have been attacked in the past three months. These attacks on
vessels by suspected pirates were only brought to the knowledge of the Navy several hours after
they have been carried out, and taking several days before an incident is reported. In a meeting
between the Navy and the Association, it was agreed to form a committee, with members drawn
from the Nigerian Navy and members of the Association. Members of this committee will look
how to improve communication between the two groups as well as other issues (LM:
3. SOMALIA: The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia is planning to launch
operations to prevent pirates from carrying out hijackings on vessels, per 8 Jun reporting. The
Fishing and Marine Resources Minister, Hassan Abshir Farah, stated a decision was made to
purchase speedboats that will deter piracy as well as prevent ships from illegally dumping waste
into Somali waters. The Minister stated Government Marine Guards will be deployed along the
coast of Central Somalia and Puntland (LM).
4. SOMALIA: Cargo vessel (DANICA WHITE) hijacked likely on 01 Jun at an estimated
distance of 205 NM off the central east coast of Somalia. The U.S. dock landing ship (CARTER
HALL) had been on patrol in international waters under operational control of Combined Task
Force 150 when it encountered the (DANICA WHITE) on 02 Jun. No distress call had been
received by Coalition forces but it quickly became clear to the sailors aboard the (CARTER
HALL) that the vessel was under pirate control. The Carter Hall crew fired machine gun bursts,
first as warning shots and then disabling shots nearly destroying the three small pirate skiffs in
tow behind the hijacked vessel. The pirates, hiding behind hostages as human shields, forced the
vessel into Somali territorial waters where the Coalition warship could not enter due to rules of
engagement. The Danish flagged vessel was carrying building and construction materials to
Mombasa from Dubai with a crew of five Danish nationals. The vessel is believed to be anchored in the vicinity of five other hijacked vessels being held for ransom between Harardere and Hobiyo, Somalia. ONI COMMENT: Based on extrapolations of estimated time-distance variables, ONI assesses the hijacking likely occurred in the vicinity of 01:50N 050:02E sometime in the afternoon on 01 Jun. This location is approximately 70 NM NE of the reported
attack locations on the (IBN YOUNUS) (MUVUNO I) and (MAVUNO II) (see Para 5.G.9 and 10 of this message)(ONI, Navy Times, IMB, CNN, FOX).
1. ERITREA: Egyptian fishing vessel reportedly hijacked 7 Jun. An official with an Egyptian fishing syndicate stated gunmen in speedboats attacked the vessel with heavy gunfire while the vessel was fishing in international waters. The attackers forced the vessel in Eritrean
territorial waters before boarding the vessel and taking its 23 Egyptian crew captive. Baki Abu-al-Hassan, president of the Fishermen Association in Suez, appealed to the Egyptian government to intervene quickly to secure the release of the detained fishermen and their vessel. Sources at the Maritime Science Institute in Alexandria said that Egyptian fishermen are compelled to fish
outside Egyptian regional waters because there were no sufficient quantities of fish in Egyptian waters as a consequence of environmental pollution, whether as a result of chemical plants, vessel refuse, or unfair fishing practices. Last month, about 20 Egyptian fishermen were detained for fishing in waters belonging to the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia without permission. They were ultimately released after Egypt reportedly agreed to pay a $250,000 fine (REUTERS, SAP).

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