As the monsoon in the NW Indian Ocean begins to subside and the weather once again becomes conducive to the operation of small pirate skiffs, the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has urged Masters not to be complacent as they transit the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
It has called for vessels to remain alert and apply the Best Management Practices (BMP), including its reporting requirements, as it transits the area.
Overall this year the attacks have fallen to 10, a trend which is attributed to the vital action of the naval vessels engaged in anti-piracy operations, compliance with the BMP and the use of professional security teams on board.
Ashore in Somalia, the government in Mogadishu which has been in power for the last 12 months has provided a stabilising influence which has been missing for decades.
“Naval forces continue to play a key role in the response against piracy in this area from the collection of intelligence to the identification and disarming of suspected pirate vessels before they pose a threat to ships. It is vital that they remain until the situation improves ashore so that piracy is no longer a viable option for the criminals,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of the IMB.
“Although the attacks off Somalia have fallen we should not forget the desperate plight of the 64 crew currently held in Somalia, 38 of whom have been there for over two years.” he added.