News 23 Apr, 2009

Piracy - Ships Transiting the Indian Ocean

Members will be aware of the recommendation in Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Coast of Somalia which states that:

Ships transiting South and East of the Coast of Somalia to ports outside of East Africa should consider navigating to the east of Madagascar or (for guidance) maintain a distance of more than 600 nautical miles from the coastline. Masters should still update UKMTO in the usual manner with their ship course and details.”

In view of the increased number of piracy attacks which have taken place more than 500 nautical miles from the Somali coast, the Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa) MSCHOA now advises vessels in the Indian Ocean which are not due to call at East African ports to stay at least 600 nautical miles away from the Somali coast unless unavoidable. Also, when routing north/south, to consider keeping east of longitude 60E until east of the Seychelles.

This advice has since been endorsed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).