Product ID: 1594 - English
Published: 29 Sep, 2011
GLIDE: CE-2010-000714-SOM

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Publication Release Notes:
In 2010, UNOSAT produced an internal UN report on Somali pirate attacks based on a detailed geospatial study of available data between 2005 and 2009. This limited distribution report was conducted in support of on-going humanitarian operations in the Horn of Africa. As part of UNOSATs expanding geospatial research on human security challenges, this report produced in 2010 has now been released for public distribution.
Main Analysis Findings:
1) ´The Piracy Big Bang´ : Somali piracy underwent a qualitative transformation between 2007 and 2008 following strategic changes in their rules of engagement and the early development of an operational blue water naval capacity in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean;
2) The standard indicators commonly cited as evidence of growing international naval pressure on piracy (1. falling hijacking rates and 2. the growth of piracy in the Indian Ocean) are more complex than originally thought and less convincing as primary barometers for measuring the success of international counter-piracy efforts.
3) The observed drop in hijacking success rates must be qualified by a potential statistical bias resulting from changes in attack reporting over time, and may reflect a naturally occurring decline resulting from more aggressive pirate rules of engagement and a large influx of untrained pirate recruits. Further, a detailed spatial and temporal analysis of piracy in the Indian Ocean strongly suggests that pirate militias originally viewed their move into deep ocean waters as part of a larger expansion strategy, predating major naval patrols in the Gulf of Aden.
Piracy Attack data sources: ONI, IMB-ICC, IMO, NATO, EU, MSC(HOA). Satellite data sources: ESA, NASA (QuiKscat processing by REMSS.) GIS Data from NGA, USGS, ESRI and UNOSAT