According to maritime security company MAST Ltd. Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of MAST, the process of underrating the Indian Ocean’s security danger may threaten the position of ships once again. While current announcements and accidents direct the attention towards the Far East as the future central point of piracy, the authentic shipping security danger stays positioned within the confines of the Indian Ocean and the latter does not receive too much of commentators’ observation.
Obviously the maritime crime in the Far East remains at its peaks. However, in the predominant number of cases this refers to simply small crimes as theft and must be prevented in case passive protection actions as Best Management Practices 4 (BMP4) are performed. The case in Somalia is not that simple. The growth of piracy there has been inhibited with success. However is has not been totally eliminated and pirates may attack again as a result if shipping companies lessen the stage of their guard.
According to a recent statement by Commodore Keith Blount at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, the Indian Ocean continues to provide security risks as for example the shortage of intelligence data exchange between countries performing regional counter-piracy activities. If the mentioned risks were surmounted that would enable the rising of both regional understanding and situational awareness. In turn that would improve the capability of the international Navies to perform anti-piracy activities.
With further details to the situation, Somalia is both lacking law and order and is politically disintegrated because of the civil war waged for two decades. The ongoing raids of a group connected with Al Qaeda-Al Shabaab, directed towards police and ruling parties, have both posed a security risk and have also made more difficult the rebuilding process of a delicate state despite the international community’s assistance. The result is that the situation in Somalia allows the excessive growth of piracy.
The comments of Northwood proceed with the statement that the region possesses a successful check for piracy in the eyes of armed security teams, BMP4 and military patrols. They safeguard vessels from Somali pirates’ raids.
However, the Indian Ocean’s precarious security condition has been underlined by the Mogadishu’s bomb attacks just recently made by Al Shabaab. The Somalia’s shortage of rules and regulations produce a flourishing untouched ground for the pirates. In case the shipping industry stayed unaware of the actual danger it would not be long before Somali pirates hijacked a vessel again and endangered the lives of innocent ship’s personnel.