05 May 2009

Analysis: EU promotes success of convoys

The European Union says its registration and convoy system has succeeded in protecting all but one ship from pirate attacks off Somalia in an article published today by Lloyds List.
“Since 12 December 2008, 41 attacks have been
confirmed in the area of operations, resulting in seven actual hijackings. Only one of the seven hijacked vessels was following EU Navfor recommendations,” said the EU Council of Ministers, referring to the period to March 1.
The piece continues,
Rather than being escorted, commercial vessels are organized into convoys which are then watched over by EU navy vessels stationed at strategic points. Ship operators register vessels over a website and are given convoy start times and locations. “The EU mission is not alone in the region,” the Council of Ministers pointed out. “Efficient coordination both with the shipping industry and with other naval units deployed by maritime powers (Russia, China and India) or groups (US-led coalition TF 151 + NATO) is therefore essential. “The Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa) website, developed by Operational Headquarters in conjunction with the shipping industry, and voluntary exchange of information and best practices are the means through which efficient coordination is being achieved.”
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 5/13/09)