Monday, September 08, 2008

Piracy in Gulf of Aden

I am greatly disturbed as well as also surprised to read this news from The Star of Malaysia entitled "Piracy attack will result in extra costs for shippers" written by Sharidan M. Ali. It's not the financial aspects that I find disturbing, it's the fact that we are in the 21st century with all the peace loving politicians running all around the globe, and piracy on the high seas is still alive and actively menacing shipping industry???

Here's a map that shows the difference of the two maritime routes between Far East and Europe.
The route through Suez canal and passing the Gulf of Aden takes 8,089 nautical miles as comparing to the Cape of Good Hope route of 11,590 nautical miles. The longer route also contends with adverse weather conditions, difficult Agulhas currents, and possible freaque waves.

But according the Ali's article:

Last week, MISC Bhd barred its vessels from entering the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden until security measures are enhanced.

This is after two of its tankers, Bunga Melati 2 and Bunga Melati 5, were hijacked by pirates in the area on Aug 19 and Aug 30 respectively.

Other than MISC vessels, recent cases of piracy in the gulf, believed to be the work of Somalian pirates, involved a bulk carrier, a tugboat, a general cargo vessel and a yacht.

In the second quarter of this year, Somalia was at the top of the list of global piracy cases with 24 piracy incidents, of which 19 occurred in the Gulf of Aden, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
There is also an optional third route use the North East Arctic passage which is only open for navigation for about six months each year.

According to the Wikipedia, the Suez Canal, opened in 1869, was to "allowing water transportation between Europe and Asia without circumnavigation of Africa, and avoiding carrying goods overland between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea." What an irony that after 140 years, shipping industry is choosing the the southern African route again.

Here's the suspected pirate mother vessel in the Gulf of Aden, the infamous Burum Ocean:
Picture from International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre.

Now my questions are: Where are the world powers? Where's U.N.? Are these things beyond or below their "pay grade"? Would the mighty "World Citizen" Mr. "Nitally" Lion Obama be willing to sit down with the pirates unconditionally to ask them please stop the piracy because it's all the merchant vessels' fault?

1 comment:

Viagra Online said...

piracy? in our days? this is totally amazing, well maybe not so amazing for the people who has been atackked by pirates, but to me this is like revive a real legend.