NATO to extend counter-piracy mission until 2016
Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 06 June 2014
Since August 2009, NATO ships have patrolled the waters off the Horn of Africa as part of Operation Ocean Shield. Their mission is to contribute to international efforts to fight maritime piracy and to help build the capacity of regional navies. Operation Ocean Shield works closely with other naval forces patrolling the Indian Ocean including US-led maritime forces and EU naval forces, such as CTF-151 and EU Navfor.
As part of the broad international effort, Ocean Shield has helped to significantly reduce pirate activity in the region, NATO said in a statement. In 2011, pirates captured 24 ships and NATO recorded 129 pirate attacks off Somalia. In 2012, the number of attacks had fallen to 20. Not a single ship has been captured off Somalia since May 2012, and no merchant ships are currently held by Somali pirates, according to NATO.
Despite the successes, piracy remains a threat, the organisation cautioned. “NATO assesses that pirates continue to possess the intent and capacity to attack ships. NATO ships continue to detect attempts by pirates to capture vessels. In addition, the root causes of piracy inside Somalia remain.”
Some 90 per cent of all global trade is carried by sea, about half of that passes through the Indian Ocean. In 2013, the World Bank estimated that piracy costs the world economy $18 billion per year. NATO counter-piracy efforts help reduce that cost.
READ MOREEuropean Union donates speedboat to Seychelles Coast Guard
Busy April for NATO counter piracy task force
Kiwis now part of anti-piracy Operation Ocean Shield
Ships from Spain, Italy and Turkey are currently part of the NATO fleet which operates roughly from the Arabian Gulf to the north, the Seychelles in the south, the Gulf of Aden to the west and the Maldives in the east, covering an area greater than 2 million square miles or the size of Western Europe.
NATO vessels verify the activity of shipping off Somalia, separating out legitimate maritime traffic from suspected pirate vessels. Commercial ships that are transiting the area are in many cases escorted to ensure their safe passage. NATO ships can actively pursue suspected pirate ships to prevent attacks. NATO boarding teams can board a suspect ship to determine if pirates are on board. As a means of last resort, NATO vessels can use force to stop pirates. Any detained pirates are transferred as soon as possible to national law enforcement agencies, NATO said.
Top stories this week
- Navy exercise Red Lion is underway
- SA Navy praised for International Fleet Review and Ibsamar participation
- Impounded foreign fishing trawlers still in East London harbour
- “The Peoples’ Navy” is a big hit in Durban
- Navy commits four platforms to Ex Ndlovu
- Mid-life upgrades for SA Navy Valour Class frigates
- The Navy puts its best foot forward in Durban
- Durban to host World Hydrography Day this month
- SA Navy not commenting on fire aboard SAS Amatola
- Pakistan Navy Chief of Naval Staff calls on SA Navy Flag Officer Fleet
A first for Nautic
by Nautic Africa, 29 June 2016
The company has become the first shipyard in SA to achieve certification to the revised International Quality Management Standard, ISO 9001:2015.
AT4 Roquette NG, Carl-Gustaf M4 and NLAW lands at Eurosatory 2016
by Saab, 14 June 2016
These will be presented at Eurosatory 2016 in Paris, including AT4 Roquette NG, Carl-Gustaf M4, and NLAW.
Intelligent camouflage: the future step for Saab Barracuda
by Saab, 14 June 2016
At Eurosatory 2016 Saab highlights new concepts within the field of intelligent camouflage to the attending audience.