Originally Posted by Simon B
I dont know why we muck about with this, piracy in international waters out of sight of land, send em to bottom, they will not therefore be able to do any more piracy, the problem will begin to die out.
Those ships still held, has their AIS been disabled? if not send in in the marines before thet get phased out too.
As you can see I'm on a bit of downer at the moment with lily-livered politicians who squander life in one hand and allow others to prosper to a ridiculous level in the other.
Like with all problems the solution isnt that simple in my opinion.
This saying about when 'the going gets tough, the tough gets going' is applicable for pirates as well. The recent increase in violence during hostage situation is worrying. So a more violent approach on solving it may just trigger more violence in catching 'prey' by pirates with consequent loss of life and other misery. A recent (relatively succesfull) rescue attempt by south korea on a samho owned (south korean owner) ship for example resulted in a large sized restrainer looking tanker due to the amount of bullet holes in that ship. Luckily the loss of life on the hostages side was limited.
AIS on some of the captured ships i registered stays was actually working although LUCKILY havent had a recent 'incident' where i could test this is still the case (I am working as a freightbroker/shipbroker for products passing the gulf of Aden)
Sending them/the pirtes 'to the bottom' is involving sending also the 250.000 'relatively innocent' fishing ships operating in the same international waters in the horn of africa and who just look like pirates to the bottom in the process. Not sure whether that is the solution. I must agree : the pirates seem to have backed off from french ships and from russian owned ships, both states who have a hard approach towards piracy incidents for ships where they are involved as flag states. So you may be right to some extend a harder approach works!
International waters as you indicated have international laws which are in the area difficult to maintain - Kenya doesnt get the financial resources to arrange a functioning tribunal and yes - I agree the international community seems to be unable to find a solution for it.
However, finding them in the first place is more difficult than it looks: Don't forget that the piracy area is now rather large due to the fact the use large mother ships (they recently used a VLCC as well for this, ironically also a SAMHO owned ship, that owner went bankrupt due to pirate contributions in june of this year) and the buggers are shrewd: in april this year even an incident less than a 100 nm off the west coast of india was reported (which is a logical place to attack since india does not allow armed guards in the territorial waters this is where they are disembarked) - see attached map
When found, shooting them out of the water implies shooting a considerable amount of hostages out of the water as well.
The treatment of hostages is a major concern when increasing pressure on these somali groups who have nothing to loose but a lot to win. Torture, killings have increased in the past months for obvious reasons : the countermeasures have hardened!
The Somali piracy is dealing with seizure of ships and cargoes as a whole and not with attempt of robbery of the ship's valuables like 85 percent of all the 'piracy attacks' in the malakka straits is all about and it is a multi million dollar industry involving overseas (cash) management companies, special insurance departments, countermeasure development, guards (armed and non armed) etcetera. (some barbed wire suppliers in damietta for example became filthy rich in a very short period ;-) ). and yes i partially agree that not everybody has the same agenda and is interested in stopping it.
The best solution would be a collective agreement between the shipowners by passing cape of good hope but the shipping industry is designed to be a free market so with the fierce competition in the 'spot market' (there is an overcapacity on ships) i reckon that is not going to be happening in the near future. convoy sailing with navy costs time but minimises risk but unfortunately not everybody can keep up with such convoys (sailing yachts for example) so it is still not a final solution to the problem.
Like with finding a cure for cancer or developing this 'super-device-which-makes-sure-you-are-never-stung-by-any-type-of-insect-the-rest-of-your-life', he who has the solution will become a very rich man!