Thwarting Successful Piracy
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In recent years, maritime piracy has received more attention from governments, the maritime industry, and the media. Increased incidents of violent attacks, particularly in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, create hazards for seafarers and shipping companies. The maritime industry has issued “Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia Based Piracy (“BMP4”); however, not all practices are implemented, often to the detriment of the vessel under attack. The purpose of this paper is to identify what prevents an attack from being successful. Using data from the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center and the Sea-Web shipping database, I have compiled a list of vessel characteristics, defense and deterrence strategies with particular emphasis on BMP4, and cooperation with other companies or governments for each reported attack occurring between 2006 and 2011. From this list, we tested which of these variables have a relationship to the success or failure of an attack. Our study concluded that defense and cooperative strategies help prevent negative outcomes in general. Deterrence strategies are shown to help prevent hostages being taken, while defense strategies appear to reduce the need for a shipping company to pay a ransom. The industry supported best practices are shown to reduce the risk of property being stolen and hostages being taken.
Carchidi, Arielle 1990- (2012). Thwarting Successful Piracy. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from