The UN Security Council has sounded the call once more for a “comprehensive international response” to piracy, just in time for EUNAVOR to announce there will be a shortage of navy vessels at the start of 2012.
Operation Atalanta has a normal minimum requirement of four to six warships, but it seems unlikely that this level will be met between December and March next year.
Without wanting to encourage the pirates too much the period with too few ships will coincide with the northeast monsoon, when conditions make it more difficult for pirates to operate.
A “Force Generation Conference” is planned for early December, when member states will review the future ship allocation.
Despite claims of “victory”, the EUNAVOR figures from October 2010 and October 2011 shows that there were virtually the same number of confirmed attacks, 18 and 19, yet a drop from four ships hijacked last year to only one this year. So there is some progress as the pirates are currently only 25% as effective as last year. However a spokesman stressed that these failures are creating an “air of desperation about them [the pirates]”.
Which has to be a major concern, especially as the pirate ship stocks drop. They were holding 32 ships, now this month they are holding 11. The criminal underworld which has funded and supported the success of the pirate gangs will want these figures increased, and that could mean trouble ahead. Especially with reduced naval support in the region.
There are some how think the pirates are just biding their time in a “phony war situation”. Sit around long enough, wait for the industry to drop its guard, and bang, the game is back on.
Date: November 24, 2011 Source: Shiptalk.com