08 April 2009


We are getting a late start launching the Somali Piracy Yearbook blog but will begin catching up this week. As mentioned in the sidebar, we will use the timestamp feature in Blogger to place incident descriptions on the date they occurred, thus presenting a kind of "diary" effect. The comments about incidents (or other matters) will appear in the order they are made with the date information serving its normal purpose.

Not too confusing, I hope.

If you look at our 2008 Yearbook (print edition), you will notice that piracy last year was way down in the beginning of the year through April with an upsurge in May onward. We noticed that this year, increased navy activity was credited with keeping piracy down during the same quiet period. Did it?

Let's list some issues that lack year-on-year perspectives:

(1) Did the creation of a protected zone without adequate policing in 2008 create a "shooting gallery" for piracy? (We think "yes".)

(2) Has the press awakened to the Somali piracy outside the Gulf of Aden? (Some spectacular boardings have forced them to.)

(3) Will shippers change what they are doing in 2009? (We shall see.)

(4) Will naval control continue to fissure on national and bloc lines as in 2008? (We predict a little more of that.)

(5) Will useful intelligence about pirates and piracy emerge in 2009? (So far the U.S. Navy has divulged guesses and nonsense.)

Stay with us as we explore these and many other issues this year.