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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Somali Pirates: If you take out the pirate "mother ships" you end up with less piracy? A NATO/EU Lesson Learned

From NATO Shipping Centre Daily Somali Piracy Overview:
Burning Pirate Boats - Anti-Piracy Technique of Proven Effectiveness
There were no new piracy attacks in the past 24 hours. The assessment of the number of dhow PAGs operating central Arabian Sea has been reduced from 3 to 2 following the disruption by POHJANMA today. This is a minimum figure and there remains the possibility that other dhows have got underway from Pirate anchorages and are now also in the area. No other recent activity of note. Low levels of pirate activity could continue in the GOA and the southern Somali Basin, particularly towards the coastal areas of the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.
About the FNS Pohjanma here.

Wow, a lesson learned.

I hope.


  1. Anonymous11:32 AM

    Don't know. Pirates are being caught a dozen at a time instead of two at a time. Could mean there are six times more pirates out there.

  2. There has been a step change in piracy arrest numbers and the naval attitude to motherships, particularly dhows and fishing boats. The Indian Navy has taken 120 pirates in the last three months (Mumbai prison) in four actions, the Dutch 20, Spain 11, Finland 18 and the UAE around 10 (this list is not inclusive of all events this year). The Spanish arrests are now in a Seychelles jail while the UAE takings are on their way back to Dubai presumably. Surprisingly few are being released. The problem is with the larger tanker or bulker used as a mothership with a new pirate guard force from ashore in large numbers. With up to 60 pirates (seen recently) onboard this becomes a difficult boarding operation although the skiffs, that still have to be used for every attack, are a vulnerability for naval forces to exploit. A trawl through the NATO Shipping Centre and EUNAVFOR data suggests that armed guards on commercial shipping are repelling attacks at a higher rate than seen so far - no armed guard protected vessel has yet been hijacked. (Updated from a comment I made on the ID page a few days ago.

  3. Observations over a 24 hr period does not constitute a sea change in this year's anti-piracy campaign. More dhows are heading out and will be in posn in a day or two. We should see attacks over the weekend and some hijacks over the next week.

    I think Tyler's maxim #7 kinda fits this 24 hr wunder-blitz; “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

  4. At 0234 UTC a merchant vessel was reported under attack by pirates in position 18 25N 057 27E. ***This vessel has been hijacked***


  5. Tyler - Recently, there have been more arrests, more sunken pirate boats, as indicated by MDB.

    If more dhows keep sailing out, I hope fewer of them return than depart Somalia.

    No one is suggesting the battle against Somali pirates has been won.

    Those feathers you describe might make someone uncomfortable . . .