Somali pirates become less active
Thursday, 26 April 2012 | 11:00
Within the last few months, the number of pirate attacks in the world has considerably decreased. The International Marine Bureau says that in the first quarter of 2012, 102 pirate attacks were registered in the world. For comparison: in the first quarter of 2011, the number was 142.
Pirates have considerably decreased their activity in the region where, until recently, they were most active – near the Somali coast. From January to March 2011, Somali pirates made 97 attacks on passenger and cargo ships. In the first three months of 2012, there were only 43 such attacks.
The President of the Far East Association of Sea Captains Pyotr Osichansky says:
“Somali pirates were very active in the last few years – and the world community started to actively take measures against them. At present, the Somali waters are patrolled by NATO ships. Russia has also sent its military ships there. China and India also dislike it very much that pirates have started to disturb their vessels and to capture their citizens in the Somali waters, and these countries have also sent their navy forces there. Thanks to all these measures, the situation is obviously changing for the better.”
Recently, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution which allows armies and navies of any country not only to pursue Somali pirates at sea but to bomb their bases on land as well. Initially, being pursued at sea, pirates often managed to find shelter on the shore. Now, it will be harder for them to escape from chasers.
However, although pirates are becoming less active near the Somali coast, in some other places – mainly, near the Nigerian coast – their attacks have become more frequent.
A Russian expert in sea law Vasily Gutsulyak comments:
“Until recently, there were three main areas of pirate activity in the world – the Somali waters, Africa’s western coast and the southeastern coast of Asia. At present, pirates have started to concentrate mainly at Africa’s western coast. The explanation is simple – the countries of this region are now living through political and economic crises, and their authorities, at the moment, are hardly capable of serious resistance to pirates.”
However, unfortunately, until recently, the makers of international laws failed to notice that the center of pirates’ activity has displaced. It is high time for them to realize this and to start working on new international anti-piracy laws. But since such laws have not been adopted yet, captains have to defend their vessels themselves – either by hiring armed guards or by acquiring modern devices of defense. Another thing which can be recommended here is to protect the ship’s sides with barbed wire. It may be a primitive measure, but practice shows that it surely helps.
Source: Voice of Russia