NSC’s Weekly Piracy Update (Africa)
There are currently no vessels being held by pirates in the HOA region, however there are at least 50 hostages remaining in various locations. During the past week there have been indications of pirate activity ashore. (NFI) This activity could be in anticipation of the inter monsoon season which will bring more favourable conditions for small boats, skiffs and fishing throughout the Somali Basin. Furthermore, such activity is a reminder that the pirates retain a capability and intent to conduct acts of piracy.
In the near term the forecast for small boat / skiff operations is becoming more favourable along the East Coast of Somalia extending from the tip of the Horn of Africa down through the Somali Basin as SW monsoon influence is showing gradual decline. These conditions will last until the North East Monsoon begins, historically around Mid-November. Small boat activity may be observed earlier than this in the more prominent fishing areas and Coastal waters depending on the local conditions.
It is the ship Masters’ responsibility to conform with the standard operating procedures for reporting possible acts of piracy to UKMTO as primary point of contact in according with BMP4. Also, it is important to remember that without providing this information in a timely manner, UKMTO, MSC HOA and NSC cannot pass data onto warships in the region. Delays in reporting incidents increase the search area and therefore decrease the likelihood of investigating and/or capturing possible pirates. It is recognized that the Gulf of Aden and the Bab el Mandeb is a very difficult environment in which to distinguish benign activity from that of potential pirates however a clear and timely flow of information is critical.
NSC, September 13, 2013