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Piracy News & Commentary

Recent Piracy News

Rear Adm. Terence "Terry" McKnight (USN, Ret.), past commander of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) and veteran of joint anti-piracy operations, has criticized the media for dramatizing piracy at the expense of other world-wide naval operations, including those associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He further suggests, correctly, that shipping companies need to do more to protect their vessels against pirate attacks. The Military.com article is available here. Based on my own experience and research, Somali piracy is at the moment a nuisance which can be largely held at bay by appropriate security measures, which in many instances should include armed security. However, the situation could grow worse with an increase in Somali pirate training and equipment, although this is unlikely on a significant scale.

The British foreign secretary recently warned that the shipping industry must defend itself against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. Currently, navies are spread too thin to provide protection in this region. (Source: BBC)

According to the BBC, the Philippine government has ordered all of its merchant seamen to undergo anti-piracy training. The sailors will not receive firearms training. Filipinos comprise nearly a third of the world’s merchant seafarers.

A leading Indian seafarers union is threatening an international boycott if nations do not take a more active stance against Somali piracy. Seafarers bear the brunt of piracy, and many observers believe that shipping companies are not doing enough to protect the men and women who sail their ships. (Sources: Lloyd’s List, author’s)

A two to three-fold increase Nairobi, Kenya property prices is being blamed on the purchase of property as a means of laundering the proceeds of piracy. (Source: AP)

Somali pirates captured four ships, including to British-flagged vessels, over a five day period surrounding the New Year.

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