Where have the pirates gone?
The launch of Nigeria’s Deep Blue Project in June 2021 and subsequent declining trend of offshore piracy could potentially lull shipping operators into a false sense of security in the waters off West Africa.
It would be disingenuous at best, and dangerous at worst to interpret the decline in piracy volumes in 2021 as indicative of any fundamental or lasting change brought about by any one state or initiative.
Claims of radically reduced risks within such a short timeframe and calls for the ending of war risk premiums are premature. Whilst regional counter piracy efforts in 2021 are to be commended, they require long term investment, both politically and financially, with on shore investment arguably of greater importance than offshore assets.
The wider implication of the Deep Blue Project is that it will push pirates further afield, into the less protected waters of the Gulf of Guinea and away from the assets of the initiative. Pirates do not need to stay in one jurisdiction and will target areas they know their attacks will have a greater chance of success.
Source: Protection Vessels International