– CIMSEC – Late Monday, crew on the Emirati-owned oil tanker Aris13 activated a distress call indicating they were being pursued by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The subsequent hijacking, once confirmed, would mark the first successful Somali act of piracy since 2012. This of course begs the question: Is Somali piracy back?
– USNI News – International forces are set to assess the situation of an oil tanker allegedly seized by Somali pirates.
– BBC – An oil tanker has been hijacked by suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia, the first such hijacking in the region in five years.
– New Yorker – When pirates captured a cargo ship, its crew faced one desperate choice after another.
– US Naval War College Review – As a global response to piracy off the coast of Somalia was taking place, alarm bells were ringing about a similar growing insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea. Today, the Gulf of Guinea stands as the most dangerous maritime area in terms of the success rate of attacks and violence.
– Nikkei – Maritime piracy continues to be a major threat to global supply chains, though the pirates have moved to different oceans.
– USNI News – West Africa is home to the world’s most violent pirates—who are now capable of overwhelming armed guards. Last month pirates killed a crewmember during an attack on German-owned oil tanker. Instead of fighting off the pirates, the embarked security team retreated to the ship’s citadel safe room.
For the shipping and insurance worlds, the widespread adoption of armed guards aboard vessels essentially “solved” Somali piracy, as no vessel employing them has been hijacked by pirates. An attempt to transfer this panacea to the pirate-prone waters of West Africa, however, has proved inadequate and ill-suited to local conditions.
– USNI News – Off Nigeria—the epicenter of western Africa piracy—there have been at least 12 attacks against various types of vessels this year, resulting in multiple kidnappings. Within the swampy maze of the Niger Delta, militants-cum-pirates have robbed passenger vessels, kidnapped oil workers and ambushed security-force patrols. This level of organized piracy—as distinguished from opportunistic robberies against berthed and anchored vessels—can be sorted into two different categories: tanker hijackings for product theft and maritime kidnapping for ransom.
– Medium – Peter Dörrie explains escalating piracy in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea.
– Associated Press – World sea piracy fell to its lowest level in five years in 2012, thanks to a huge reduction in Somali piracy.
– Economist – Pirates face a new foe: a private navy.
– The Economist – Better deterrents are putting the Somali pirates’ business under strain.
– Daily Telegraph – Pirate attacks off Somalia dropped to zero for the first full month since the menace emerged more than five years ago, new figures show.
– Associated Press – Sea piracy worldwide fell by 54 percent in the first half of 2012, led by a dramatic drop in Somali piracy, an international maritime watchdog said Monday.
– The National – A private navy costing US$70 million (Dh257m) is being set up to escort merchant ships through the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden. It will comprise a fleet of 18 ships, based in Djibouti, and will offer to convoy merchant vessels along the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor (IRTC).
– BBC – EU naval forces have conducted their first raid on pirate bases on the Somali mainland, saying they have destroyed several boats.
– New York Times – C.J. Chivers writes that the many navies involved in counterpiracy patrols off Africa’s northeastern shore have learned the pirates’ habits and sharpened interdiction efforts. Hijackings have declined sharply in the past year. But where interdiction ends, an enduring problem begins: what to do with the pirates that foreign ships detain?
– AP – Sea piracy worldwide dropped slightly in 2011 for the first time in five years but Somali pirates have intensified attacks and remained the greatest threat, a global maritime watchdog said Thursday.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – Two executives and a consultant in the long-range unmanned surface vessel (USV) industry detail how the new platforms can police the high seas.
– New York Times Magazine – One couple’s 388-day ordeal — and their unlikely saviors.
– Time – In the past eight months, acts of piracy have spiked in the waters off West Africa. The wave of violence seems partly inspired by the Somali pirates and partly a result of the mixed blessings that come, countries in the region are finding out, with discovering vast oil reserves.
– Virginian Pilot – The Navy is turning to modern online gaming technology to help solve one of the most ancient scourges on the high seas: piracy.
– BBC – Piracy off the Somali coast costs the international community up to $8.3bn (£5.1bn) a year, a new report from the Geopolicity consultancy estimates.
– The Economist – Piracy off the coast of Somalia is getting worse. Time to act.
– The Economist – For all the efforts to combat it, Somali piracy is posing an ever greater threat to the world’s shipping.