High risk area off Horn of Africa halved in size

Shipping associations have agreed to revise and make smaller the high risk area around the Horn of Africa. The changes take effect from December 1 and reflect the declining levels of piracy in the region and the fact pirates no longer make long distance forays for their prey.

The high risk area has now been reduced by approximately 55% or 1.7m sq m of ocean.

Nevertheless, shipowner organisation BIMCO warned in a release: “Whilst the revision re-designates the area considered to be at a high risk of Somalia-based pirate groups, it is stressed that these groups retain the ability to attack at historical limits of their activity… Any lowering of guard in the region is likely to present an opportunity for a resurgence of pirate activities.”

Graeme Gibbon Brooks, ceo of UK intelligence firm Dryad Maritime, commented: “Whilst it would be premature to claim total victory on piracy, this is the first and most optimistic sign of progress toward that goal.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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