NATO Shipping Centre Weekly Piracy Update
The number of reported attacks and suspicious activity is down over the last week. This decrease in reports may be due in part, to an improved understanding of the operating environment as ship’s masters and security teams continue to transit the region.
Another factor could be the recent meetings between industry and military organizations which provided opportunities to increase the level of understanding and to more closely align the lexicon pertaining to attacks, approaches, etc.
There was a report of a dhow hijacked in the vicinity of Bossasso however the communications between a variety of regional actors meant the dhow was identified, tracked and with the element of surprise as a potential mother ship gone, the pirates apparently returned to the shore. This event is a reminder that the capability and intent of pirates remain and that vigilance is required when operating in the region.
The South west monsoon season is fully established and the increased fishing activity in the Gulf of Aden, particularly along the southern coastline of Yemen will continue until sometime in September when the weather begins to transition to the North east monsoon season. Until such time as the monsoon system weakens, the sea conditions off the East Coast of Somalia from the tip of the Horn of Africa, down through the Somali Basin will be unfavourable for small boat / skiff operations. The conditions inside the Gulf of Aden will remain more favourable as the area is somewhat sheltered from high winds which are creating the significant sea states in the open waters. Increased interaction between fishing boats and merchants transiting in close proximity to the Southern Coast of Yemen will occur during this period and alert crews are particularly important in order to distinguish legitimate fishing and commercial activity from a potential pirate attack.
Press Release, June 20, 2013