Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Friday, July 03, 2009

State Department’s David Foran Discusses Fighting Piracy

State Department’s David Foran Discusses Fighting Piracy:
[Mary Furnivall]: Why is it so difficult to stem pirate activity off the coast of East Africa? For example, off the coast of Somalia, I understand the pirates launch zodiac-type boats off a mother ship. With our satelitte technology, why cant we stop these mother ships?

A [David Foran]: The biggest problem is the huge area that pirates operate in. Mother ships are often pirated fishing boats that have crew members held as hostages. These vessels can be difficult to track. Again, there are limited assets available to try to track pirates.

Q [cairoirc@state.gov]: Do you think if the stution on Somali changed this will help

A [David Foran]: Yes, I think everyone agrees that the ultimate solution to piracy lies on the land with a stable Somali government.

Q [cairoirc@state.gov]: Can all the world countries make a law by which they can overcome piracy

A [David Foran]: Most countries currently have laws that allow for the prosecution of pirates. One of our challenges is convincing governments to use these laws to prosecute pirates.

Q [Kenya Son]: Will arming ships get rid of pirates?

A [David Foran]: That's a good question. The short answer is we don't know. The US Coast Guard recently issued guidelines to US flagged vessels that will operate near Somalia advising that they should consider the use of armed or unarmed security. There's a great deal of concern on the part of industry about potential liability arising from the use of armed security.

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