NATO calls on shipping companies to stay alert for pirates

Things are moving in the right direction regarding the massive piracy problems off the coast of Africa. The amount of pirate attacks has decreased significantly in the first six months of the year, but NATO is calling on the shipping companies to stay alert.

NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield, the EU Naval Force, and the Combined Task Force 151, the three largest military players, say in a joint statement that there was a 54 percent drop in the number of pirate attacks in the first six months of the year. This is the result of a combination of defensive initiatives by the shipping companies along with the military presence.

“The number of attacks has been minimal during the monsoon season, but historically, the number of attacks usually goes up when the season ends. We have seen a decreasing trend in the amount of successful pirate attacks. We are calling on all commercial vessels to do everything in their power to ensure the continued effort to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to board and take control of their ships,” says Commander Bruce Belliveau, NATO Deputy Chief of Staff for the anti-piracy effort, in a press release, adding:

“Even with the massive military presence, it’s still impossible to guarantee safety in the region. That’s why the CTF 151, NATO, and the EU are calling on all shipping companies, operators, and managers to continue to educate and train their mariners in preparation for the threat and in how to avoid it. Together, the navy and the maritime industry have had a positive effect on the piracy threat. In spite of the good news, though, now is not the time to scale down the effort in the region.”

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