[NMS Note: This article was translated from Danish by Google translate.]
Meanwhile, Somali pirate attacks quickly find their way into the news, the pirate attacks in the West African Guinea-bay often not reported to the authorities and therefore not evident in statistics.
By Jakob Wandel | 29 89 00 98 | firstname.lastname@example.org
While Somali pirate attacks often find their way into the headlines, the pirate attacks elsewhere in the world even not reported to the authorities or are offentlighedes knowledge.¬†This means that there is no important information about piracy extent and threat to the world’s civilian merchant.
International analysts estimate that some companies fail to report relatively small losses from such assaults or attempted hijackings because they fear costly delays if the ship subsequently be inspected at the nearest port, anxious customers and the risk of rising insurance premiums, if all attacks will authorities or the public.
It represents a tendency that as long as the crew does not get hurt, so they do not commit silent on the attacks.
No benefits by reporting
Not least piracy in the West African Guinea-bay, where such¬†heavily armed, Nigerian militants attack civilians merchant ships in high-speed boats, are underreported.
It was, however, according to the London-based analyst Thomas Horn Hansen from security firm Risk Intelligence, not primarily economic considerations in shipping companies.
– There is no clear advantages to less reporting attacks to the local authorities, and often do companies absolutely no response to their inquiries.¬†The perception is actually the one that the rarer it is in contact with the authorities in the region, the fewer occasions, they have to make life miserable for shipping companies and their crews, says Thomas Horn Hansen.
analyst says that the official figures from the IMB (International Maritime Bureau) only shows the tip of the iceberg.
Risk Intelligence, inter alia,¬†the business of promoting piracy-related threat assessments, also leads statistics of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, and Thomas Horn Hansen believes is not surprising that their numbers are more reliable than IMB’s:
– Reporting of pirate attacks to the IMB is voluntary and IMB may only disclose information about attacks that are reported directly to them, he explains:
– We shall also obtain information from local sources in the security industry, our customers and other local partners in the area.¬†This means that our figures are somewhat higher than the IMB’s, but it’s hard to say what the real extent is because such attacks on local fishing vessels rarely reported, says Thomas Horn Hansen.
– There has been an increase in the official numbers of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea since the end of 2010 because a greater proportion of the attacks have been directed against tankers that are more likely to report to the IMB than supply vessels in the offshore industry.¬†But overall, it is not clear from our data that there has been a real increase in attacks.
The consequence of the massive underreporting of pirate attacks in West Africa is that the threat is not publicly appear nearly as great as it really is.
Thomas Horn Hansen believes, however, that the seafarers of the land enters the area of ‚Äã‚Äã”blindfolded”:
– It is an opaque situation, but West Africa has had a bad reputation for many years, and the seafarers know that it can be a dangerous area to reside in. If piracy real extent was publicly known, I think, however, that the more would get their attention.
Read more and piracy in West Africa in the upcoming issue of Maritime Officers.The magazine is published in week 17