Monday, July 1, 2013


Naval/Merchant Marine Interest Piracy

pirate flag skull and bones clip art



 The indicators are really a mixed bag in the piracy news since the first of the year.  This is why we carry the Pirate Daily Update in our News Section. We almost hesitate to put any pirate news into our daily blog postings,There is so much of it. We are thinking of pretty much ignoring specific pirate headlines in our News Section Headline Service. It is getting to be just too routine and after all it is in our Pirate Activity Daily Report at the top of the Headline Service.  

  More problematic is the conflict in piracy reporting. Within the last several months we have carried links to analytic articles by different "experts" who maintain that the piracy problem is slackening. We almost linked one once via "News Flash ALERT" on the station identification, but that seemed confusing in light of the fact that within an hour, two more major pirate attacks were reported in the world's media. Its good thing our staff are typically slow typists.

 Pirates seem to amuse and interest the general media, but the conventional non maritime media seems pretty clueless when it comes to analyzing what's going on and what's important to shipping professionals. As we have stated before we are not a news service but more of an on line maritime library that provides the equivalent of a news "reading room". Our interest in piracy is most acute for our professional mariner community of readers. They have to deal with piracy every day in voyage planning and navigation. This is why our most recent piracy links which all interested readers may use, professional mariner or not, are more on the commercial piracy intelligence side than the popular news sources. We are primarily attempting to link our professional mariner readers to real free voyage planning tools.

   We think the time passed back in November of 2012 for us to stop reacting to media piracy reports and state our position on piracy and what commercial maritime professionals should do about it.  So back then we did. We think it is now time to restate and update that policy. 

 Our opinion on what naval professionals should do about piracy is simple and politically incorrect. That's why no government is going to follow our advice and the piracy problem will continue indefinitely. Our advice to commercial mariners and yachtsmen is more detailed and may be followed without asking anyone "may I", unless you decide to carry fire arms.

Here is our editorial policy on pirate stories and our advice on piracy to commercial and recreational deep sea mariners.

Editorial Policy: Piracy is real and all too uncommon. Few individual instances are all that news worthy. We will continue to link to the daily piracy update, but we will break into the blog postings with individual pirate incident reports only when the attack is indicative of new and novel activity and areas. We will focus on developing more useful links for incorporating piracy security into your voyage planning in our News Service and Navigation pages. In recent weeks we have added a number of important links on pirate activity to our voyage planning tools in the navigation section.

  • Piracy is real, violent, and growing globally even if some former "hot spots" seem to have entered a quiet period. Anti Piracy security measures should be a routine part of STCW mandated voyage planning.
  • The first step in such voyage planning is to determine your level of risk at each point in the voyage. While piracy can and does happen anywhere, our daily up date and other official and unofficial services can give you an excellent idea of whether or not your voyage track takes you across any area of heightened risk.
  • If you will cross an area of heightened risk it is time to consult with the ship owner, insurance interests, and legal counsel about whether or not to arm any part of the ship's company, or hire armed security at particular points in the voyage. 
  • Whether or not you have armed security the next step is to plan heightened security and repulsion measures for the threatened parts of your passage. You need to know if there is any naval protection available in the area you are concerned with and how to communicate with these services.
 The bottom line ladies and gentlemen is that if you are not including serious piracy preventative security measures and repulsion measure in your voyage planning, you are not doing a professional job of voyage planning. 

 For our part we will seek additional piracy information links for you for inclusion in our News Section and in the Navigation  Section to use as voyage planning tools. As much as we have found that pirate stories increase our general traffic in the blog postings, we are not serving our professional mariner visitors by devoting so much ink to pirate activities in the blogsphere. We hate it when we find ourselves acting like the general media. It's not that we are incapable of pandering, its just that when we do catch ourselves pandering we don't want it to be business as usual. We appreciate all of our readers perhaps most especially our non -marine professional readers who help keep our numbers up and the information flowing without charge. But we are not a news service and the blog space is not unlimited. Those primarily looking for news should click on our New Service in the right hand column at the daily station ID and Notice Board. Once at the news service remember that while we do collect and post headlines and links it is not a comprehensive service. The primary source of maritime news are the periodicals that we link you to there.

 For fans of pirate news there is more here than you will find in any other source but you need to go to the News Service reading room and read the same stuff the professional mariners read for voyage planning to be really informed, vice entertained by pirate antics. We don't disdain "infotainment", in fact that is one of the things we strive for. But piracy isn't amusing and its now a major aspect of professional mariner voyage planning. So we have put a great deal of effort into piracy information leaving us little room for infotainment coverage elsewhere in these pages.
To the casual reader it may almost seem that we ignore piracy in favor of the island conflicts of the China Seas. Again the function of our blog space (the first place you land when clicking in from a search engine unless you have us book marked at a different location) is not primarily news. But the China Seas island disputes are a grave danger to peace and security that is seriously under reported in the general media, so we keep it on our "front pages" where all of our general readers are most likely to find it. Piracy we now regard as a professional concern and it actually gets far more coverage from us than is visible to the casual reader. If pirates are what you are interested in check our daily piracy reports on the news service page. Click on "News Service" in the right hand column anytime or click here while you are thinking about it. 

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