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.
Gerry Northwood, COO at MAST and former Royal Navy counter piracy commander, said: “We know that the pirate networks in Somalia retain the ability and intent to hijack vessels. Vessels sailing without adequate security are therefore inadvertently increasing the opportunities for the Somalis to conduct a successful pirate attack.
"Sadly it will take a hijacking to make some people realise this is not the case.”
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Hellenic Shipping News