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Somali Pirates Still Going Strong May 25, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics, In The News.
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Twenty-five vessels and 560 people are currently being held for ransom by pirates. Continuing to expand their geographical reach, pirates are the maritime industry. Mixed opinions about how best to moderate the effects of piracy were revealed during a Wednesday session at the 2011 Breakbulk Europe Transportation Conference and Exhibition.

Dirk Steffen, Director of Consultancy for Risk Intelligence, outlined the extent of the problem, saying that one out of every five pirate attacks is successful.

Pirate tactics continue to evolve. For example, many have managed to extend the period of time during which they can attack, Steffen said. Until late last year most piracy attacks were linked directly to the monsoon season, but now there is a new tactic in that the Somali pirates are capturing large fishing vessels and using them as mother ships, which enables them to continue operating in monsoon-hit areas.

In another twist, the main “commodity” captured is now considered to be the crew rather than the vessel, Steffen said. In several cases vessels have been captured and later set adrift once the pirates had taken the crew prisoner. (more…)

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