Blog Analysismaritime piracy

(Mica center 3) The different piracy trends seen by operational staff

(B2) The situation of piracy in the world varies according to the zones. Testimonials from MICA Center officers

At the Mica Center in Brest (© NGV / B2)

Horn of Africa

Piracy is contained by an effort of successive operations, whether it is the European operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta or the other actors. But the phenomenon has not disappeared. An effort remains to be made on land to convert the pirates into fishermen. The political situation in Somalia is not resolved. If the system is reduced or disappears, piracy will resume as in 2011-2012, with daily attacks.

In the Indian Ocean, " now is not the time to let your guard down ". Don't skimp on security. Even if we take all the precautionary measures according to the recommendations given (the famous BMP best management practices who are at the version 5) " we must therefore keep the security teams. We are in an interconnected world recalls this sailor. " The second we learned that a shipowner was no longer taking teams, they would become a target. »

Gulf of Guinea

The situation is quite stable. The area is smaller, but the fight against pirates is also more difficult. Actions do not always take place on the high seas, but in territorial waters, “ where one cannot act without their authorization ". There is of course the (good) example of Togo. Which shows that they are capable of acting, ten years ago this would not have been the case. But for other countries, particularly Nigeria, it is more problematic.

Malaka Strait

The attacks are less violent. There is no kidnapping. It's more like 'robbery' or highway robbery. The 'pirates' board, steal everything they can and leave. Sometimes the crew does not don't even realize » that he was attacked. We feel a “ strong progression ". The joint patrols of Indonesia and Malaysia worked well, in time when piracy broke out. But piracy returns, or rather banditry.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Ships that cheat

Some ships do what is called spoofing with their AIS. They piggyback on another ship, report to the Gulf of Mexico while they are in the Gulf of Guinea doing illegal fishing. AIS switching or identity camouflage is common in Asia. It occurs on several levels: a warship takes on the identity of a fisherman's ship, one fisherman's ship the other. This cheating requires the marines to be physically present “ to see who does what ". Satellite tracking devices are not enough. There is always a gap between reality and satellite analysis: ordering an image, bringing it in, analyzing it, allows us to understand the problem, not to intervene or solve it.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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