SEA BREEZES JANUARY 2010 • VOL 84 • NO. 769
As we enter a new year the issue of modern day piracy, especially that off the Horn of Africa, has again become the subject of much controversy. The recent capture of a British couple from their yacht and other brazen attacks on vessels of all types, big and small, despite the presence of a powerful international naval task force in the area has led to much debate on this modern day scourge of the high seas.
Spawned to a great extent by the dreadful state of Somalia’s economy piracy has become an industry with high rewards. Lack of a strong central government in the country has allowed these pirates a safe haven from which to operate. In many cases huge ransoms have been paid for the release of ships and crews. Even when pirates are captured legal difficulties often complicate the practicalities of bringing them to book.
As the Gulf of Aden has become better patrolled and controlled by the Naval task force, the pirates have adapted by extending their sphere of operation deeper into the Indian Ocean and further south from Somalia along the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania towards the Mozambique Channel.
To many, it seems that a much more aggressive approach by the naval task force has to be adopted if merchant ships are once again to operate safely in this area. I would be very interested in readers’ views on this issue and possible solutions to the problem.
Thank you to all the readers who completed our recent survey, the response was excellent and the feedback will aid us in making future improvements to the magazine. As a result of our prize draw our congratulations go to Mr S Wass of Pontefract, Bernard Greenberg of Oxford, Mr B Greenhalgh of Manchester, Norm Hedley of NSW, Australia and David Bourhill of Musselburgh who each win a yearly subscription to Sea Breezes.
The Sea Breezes team wish our readers a happy and safe New Year.
Captain Hamish A C Ross (Deputy Editor)