Thursday, January 24, 2013

Maritime piracy lowest in five years

The appeal trial of six suspected Somali pirates accused of having kidnapped in September 2008, a French couple aboard the yacht Le Carré d'as in the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia, s' is open Tuesday, January 22 at Melun (Seine-et-Marne). If he returns to the heart of the current phenomenon of maritime piracy off the Somali coast, it fell sharply in 2012, according to the report of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) .

Somalia is passed to the second "tier" world, with 49 attacks recorded (against 160 in 2011), leaving the highest step of the podium in Indonesia. With 81 attacks, it almost doubles its balance sheet in 2011, when 41 attacks were recorded.

Globally, piracy has declined very significantly in 2012. Pirate attacks rose from 439 in 2011 to 297 in 2012. If this decrease is due to the strong reduction of attacks on merchant ships off Somalia, Africa remains the worst region in the world. Taken together, the East Africa and West Africa have recorded 150 attacks in 2012, half of the world total. It is composed of 174 ships attacked, 28 hijacked and 28 fired objects. Which must be added the 87 attempted attacks recorded by BMI. Corollary of this reduction, the number of hostages kidnapped dropped from 802 to 585. Six crew members were, however, killed in the attacks and 32 wounded.

Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, only 75 attacks were recorded against 237 in 2012. And the number of hostage-taking has been halved from 28 to 14.


The vessels most commonly at risk are containerships, bulk carriers and tankers. But fishing boats or small vessels, including pleasure, are also threatened.

In contrast, in West Africa, piracy is on the rise, especially in the Gulf of Guinea, with 58 incidents reported, including 10 hostage and 207 crew members taken. Monday, the site of Jeune Afriquereported elsewhere that men had "seized a Nigerian oil Panamanian flag, off the port of Abidjan, as he prepared to unload 5,000 tons of fuel" . And to consider the possibility of extension to Côte d'Ivoire "piracy, increasingly common in the Gulf of Guinea, including offshore Nigeria and Benin."

In the western part of Africa, pirates are particularly violent. This is Nigeria, which focused attacks in the region with 27 incidents against 10 in 2011.

Other regions of the world are also victims of pirates, especially Southeast Asia. And 81 incidents were reported in the Indonesian archipelago, a quarter of all shares of piracy worldwide. Indonesia is a continuous rise in piracy since 2009.


BMI believes that the deployment of warships as well as the presence of armed teams on commercial vessels play a deterrent role vis-à-vis the pirates. These include EU vessels under the operation of the European Union Euronavfor Atalanta, which also uses maritime surveillance aircraft as P3-C Orion.

In this context, guard against the pirates of the seas can it be released? No, say echoing and every few months the deputy commander of the European operation Atalanta off Somalia and the Director of BMI.

For the first, against Admiral Gualtiero Mattesi Italian, "we have before us a tactical success but reversible. It is essential that the pressure on the pirates and their business model is maintained or enhanced. Strategic context as the situation in Somalia pirates enabling act has not fundamentally changed. [...] By joining forces, efforts against piracy are now more efficient and can no longer ship navy, country or organization alone, "he stated in September at the excellent site specializing in European defense issues, Brussels 2.

Caution as the Director deems necessary as BMI, Captain Mukundan Pottengal, which monitors pirate activity International since 1991. "The figures show a welcome reduction piracy hijackings and attacks on ships. Crews but must remain vigilant, particularly in very dangerous waters off East Africa and Africa west. " Also, he believes that "the continued presence of the Navy is essential to ensure that Somali piracy remains low. Such progress could easily be reversed if the warships were removed from the area."

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