SOMALI PIRACY: SIX MONTHS SINCE REDUCTION OF HIGH RISK AREA IN WESTERN INDIAN OCEAN

  • Wednesday 1 June 2016: six months since the HRA in the Indian Ocean was reduced
  • Situation remains uncertain with multiple incidents already this year in the Gulf of Aden
  • Shipping industry needs to be vigilant as Somalis retain capability and intent to hijack vessels

The security situation in the Western Indian Ocean may be at a tipping point, MAST, the international maritime security company, has said today, marking six months since the High Risk Area (HRA) was reduced (1 December 2015).
The culmination of the smaller HRA, merchant vessels (MVs) sailing closer to the Somali coast, a reduced naval presence and fewer security teams has resulted in pirate activity in recent months, with some MVs coming under fire in the Gulf of Aden. There is also evidence of reduced application of Best Management Practice (BMP) measures by vessels and shipping companies.

Furthermore, there is concern within the security sector that some incidents are not being reported, and those that are lack detail and therefore, make a limited contribution to ongoing efforts to tackle piracy.
EUNAVFOR and other bodies including the International Maritime Bureau continue to warn shipping companies that Somali piracy is supressed and not eradicated, and that those onboard need to remain vigilant.
 
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