Forgotten Piracy Areas

It seems that so much attention has been given to the Gulf of Aden, that most have forgotten (it’s only February) the other known piracy areas. In risk management, you have to look at history and plan for the future. I get many inquiries about the transits through the Gulf of Aden, and most show no concern about other areas. I feel for the shipping companies that seem to have forgotten about Malacca, or the area just North East of Singapore, Philippines, or even on the coast of Africa as far south as Kenya. This is not to mention West Africa. these areas have not received much media attention lately and are quickly forgotten. Print the Live Piracy Maps for years 2005 through 2008 on transparency paper, then overlay them on each other. This will give you a perspective of what you need to plan for. In addition, more companies are transiting around the Cape of Africa than before. I estimate that a rise in piracy related incidents will occur on the west Coast of Africa just because there are more targets to engage now, than there were before.

Last month the company blog of Bourbon Offshore mentioned a hijacking and that the company was able to “negotiate the vessel’s release”. They have since altered the post but it made me curious…

Now that Somalia has proven that hijackings can be very profitable, what do you think the chances are that we begin to see copycat acts of piracy?

Not too many years ago that would not present that much of a problem. However, now that technology has made it easier, the ‘bad guys’ can just get on the internet and see everything we see. Ship positions and routes, weather, news and so forth.

Maybe they are even reading gCaptain?

Over the last couple of weeks there has been a significant rise in attacks off the East Coast of Africa, as far South as Seychelles and out as far as 500 miles.

All of a sudden, people are talking about this and the Navy flotillas said they are seeing an adaptation of piracy. There is no adaptation in reality, if you look at the live piracy map for the last three years, you can plot the attacks and hijackings in this area, just as they are occurring now.

The point of this thread in the beginning is proving true. Once the live piracy map was cleared on the 1st of January, and the attacks were concentrated in the GoA, the East coast of Africa was put aside. Now they are waking up to the reality. They want to call it adaptation, but it is actually historical trends that are continuing.