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Oct-24-2010 16:11printcomments

Update on Pirate Activity in Somalia, Gulf of Aden & Indian Ocean

The latest from Ecoterra International.

Navy presence fighting pirates
Experts say the western navy presence has driven problems with pirates in the wrong direction.

(NAIROBI, Kenya) - Today, 24. October 2010, at least 27 foreign vessels plus one barge are still kept in Somali hands against the will of their owners.

This includes at least 485 hostages or captives - among them an elderly British yachting couple and the 5 new hostages from Somaliland. They all await their release.

EU NAVFOR reported for 8 October only 17 ships with 369 hostages under duress, for 17 October, 19 vessels and for 24 October, still only 19 vessels, but hadn't reported any release, and obviously doesn't account for the smaller sea-jacked vessels from Yemen or Iran and from other - maybe considered less important countries than those for which the European naval forces seem only to care.

The smaller and older vessels often have even a larger crew than large modern vessels - and it is the well-being of the seafarers that counts - not just the insured modern vessels of the big shipping industry.

In any case it is still the highest number of abducted vessels at the Horn of Africa in all time and the scourge started to sore immediately after foreign naval forces entered these waters in 2008.

The Somali marine waters have become the 6th estate of the Somali nation and the Somalis will not give up their defense of them. However, the majority of its impoverished population is against the piracy targeting innocent merchant vessels. Either way, they lack the financial and military strength to fight with the real pirate gangs. They are also affected most by the canon-boat-policy - implemented by the foreign naval forces on Somali waters.

The navies don't really help against the pirates and they protect illegal fishing vessels in the Somali waters, while they have killed also innocent fishermen as well as refugees and hurt the people.

This video explains the history of the Somali pirates and why they started this activity in the first place:

Somalia Pirate interview


Yet unconfirmed reports speak of an attack on and possible sea-jacking of German-owned MV BELUGA in the Somali Basin.

Greek Gas Tanker with German Master Pirated off Kenya by Somali Sea-Shifta
The Singapore-flagged MT YORK had left Mombasa yesterday
, 23 October, morning at 06h00 en route to the Seychelles. The vessel was then attacked at around 17h30 local time (14h30 UTC) by two skiffs, approximately 98 nautical miles East of Mombasa in Kenya. The Turkish warship TCG GAZIANTEP, operating under the Combined Maritime Forces (Task Force 151) launched her helicopter to investigate, who was able to observe pirates with weapons on board the vessel.
The LPG Tanker is
owned by Greek Interunity Management Corporation (IMC) and had just transported a cargo of liquid petrol gas to Mombasa. 
Gerald Lim, a director of the ship owner York Maritime Company, said there was no word on the ship or crew since it put out a distress call on Saturday.

Initially the MT YORK was drifting but then began moving at 10 knots this morning, 24 October, when the MT YORK, a Singapore-flagged tanker, was confirmed pirated in the Somali Basin by EU NAVFOR.
It seems that the South-Korean fishing vessel FV GOLDEN WAVE 305 (alias FV KEUMMI 305), captured from an illegal fishing trip in Somali waters on 9 October 2010, was used to seajack the MT YORK
The MT YORK, with a dead-weight of 5,076 tons, has a crew of 17, including the German Master, two Ukrainians and 14 Filipinos.
Latest reports say the vessel is commandeered towards Harardheere and Hobyo with a possible final holding ground off Garacad.

From the SMCM:


We have lost one of its most ardent freedom fighters and a true lady.
We are saddened to announce the passing of great lady, Joan Veon, a brilliant woman and staunch and vocal advocate of truth and liberty. Joan travelled the world at her own expense attending over 100 UN Conferences and reading thousands of UN documents to understand the agenda whereby she was able to expose the UN as a plot for a World Government misusing also Agenda 21 on Sustainable Development (incl. global warming) as promoted and supported by Prince Charles.
Back in 2007, Joan was diagnosed with metastasis breast cancer. Because it had spread from the breast into the lymph nodes and spine, she was told her cancer was in a stage four, but she continued her work heroically.
That remarkable woman never stopped her efforts to expose the agenda of world government, even while fighting for her life.
"In a world without safety nets it no longer matters what kind of problems we are confronted with: high inflation, the high cost of living, joblessness, sickness, despair, divorce, or the evil men who control the world," she said.
Joan attended all the important conferences - put on by the elites who rule the world and want to destroy ours - to take on the plotters. She traveled to many foreign countries to get the truth first hand. A huge sacrifice demanding a great deal of time away from her family. But, she did it because, like millions of us, we know the grand scheme underway to bring down our countries and force us to be ruled by a one world government. Joan said no way and dedicated herself to fending off the attacks on our sovereignty with her columns, speeches and radio appearances.
Joan's columns (archived here) provide us with the hard hitting facts and truth about the treachery which has been underway for more than a hundred years. Her relentless pursuit of the truth has provided millions of us - not just in America - with the facts to enable us to fight world tyranny. Joan's research is respected by so many and her contributions as a real Patriot will not be forgotten.
Joan's DVDs, When Central Banks Rule the World, and 2008 Credit Crises: The Final Transfer of America's Financial Sovereignty.
Joan Veon passed away, October 18, 2010.
It is unlikely we shall be graced by her kind again. Joan, you were dearly respected and you will be sadly and greatly was a privilege to have known you.

Hermann Scheer: 1944-2010
Renewable energy advocate Hermann Scheer dies at 66
The sudden death of Right Livelihood Award Laureate Hermann Scheer bereft the world of one its most dedicated and successful advocates for renewable energy and energy independence.

Hermann Scheer, Member of the German Parliament and President of Eurosolar, had been named by TIME magazine as a 'Hero for the Green Century' in 2002. He died unexpectedly in Berlin on October 14th.
Interview: Governments are puppets
Amy Goodman (RLA 2008) from Democracy Now!, USA, conducted one of the last interviews with Hermann Scheer (RLA 1999) at the 30th Anniversary Conference of the Right Livelihood Award in Bonn, Germany, last month.
In this interview, Hermann Scheer once more made his case for a decentralised energy system relying on renewable energies. He calls it a "fight between centralization and decentralization, between energy dictatorship and energy participation in the energy democracy. And because nothing works without energy, it’s a fight between democratic values and technocratic values."
Watch the interview at
Scheer leaves a big void
Hermann Scheer received the Right Livelihood Award in 1999 ‘for his indefatigable work for the promotion of solar energy worldwide’. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation was deeply saddened to learn about the death of Hermann Scheer.
Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, said:
"Hermann leaves a big void on a personal, as well as on a political, level. He pinpointed fossil and nuclear energy production as the major danger of our time and showed the world how this threat can be averted. There are only a few people who have done more for the future of our planet. Our thoughts are with his family, who supported this work.
Hermann Scheer was a practical visionary and political person at his very core. He fought tirelessly for the cause of a 100% renewable energy future, often cross party lines, never putting his career first. The German Renewable Energy Law, which essentially goes back to Herman Scheer, now serves as a role model worldwide.
To see how much Herman Scheer was able to achieve as a parliamentarian and civil society activist gives hope for our political system. He has influenced and inspired thousands of colleagues and fellow activists around the world. They will continue his work, but will have very big shoes to fill."


Foreign companies loot $350m from Somalia
Muhyadin Ahmed Roble, AfricaNews reporter in Nairobi, Kenya
Foreign companies loot and dump toxic wastes in Somali seas in the full glare of the EU and NATO naval forces that patrol the Somali coastal lines, a Somali professor at the University of Minnesota has said.
Abdi Ismail Samater, a professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota claims foreign companies poach and dump toxic waste in Somali waters.
He said foreign interests seized the opportunity to begin looting the country’s seafood after the collapse of the Somali government in 1991.
“Between 700 up to 800 illegal fishing ships directly steal Somali seafood. They took any kind of fish including nest eggs in the deep waters”, he told AfricaNews in an exclusive interview.
He added that foreign ships use prohibited fishing equipment, including nets with very small mesh sizes and sophisticated underwater lighting systems, to lure fish to their traps.
Somalia waters have huge numbers of commercial fish species, including
the prized yellow fin tuna.
The illegal fishing ships come from Italy, Egypt, India, South Korea, Kenya, Tanzania, and Spain, according to a research that is yet to be published by Prof. Abdi Ismail Samater and his colleagues at University of Minnesota.
The research also indicates that illegal fishing companies from Japan, China, Denmark and Holland are also part of the lootings process in Somalia.
“The illegal fishing companies poach an estimated between $250 up to$350 million in seafood from Somali waters annually”, Prof. Samater said.
The foreign companies steal an invaluable protein source from one of the world’s poorest nations, where half of its population needs food aids.
One in six Somali children is acutely malnourished – a total of some 240,000 children – the highest acute malnutrition rates anywhere in the world. In south and central Somalia these rates are even higher, reaching one in every five children, According to WFP.
The UN estimates it will need $689 million to provide aid in 2010 to the Somali population, of which 43 per cent live on less than a dollar a day.
Professor Abdi accused foreign companies for ruin the livelihoods of legitimate fishermen. He claimed NATO and EU force in Somali waters don not stop or even speak out illegal fishing in the coast.
“NATO and EU forces are aware of the ongoing poaching in Somali sea but they are focusing on pursuing only their economic and security interest”, he said.
But Lieutenant Colonel Per Klingvall, spokesperson for EU NAVFOR said his force is contributing in monitoring fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
“We are mandated to monitor and report illegal activities off the coast of Somalia. We have no information about illegal fishing in Somalia”, Per Klingvall said.
“European fishing vessels pass their location to us daily, they have not been in Somali waters since they started passing EU NAV FOR their details. As far as we can monitor the European fishing fleets are outside the, by Somali, declared 200 NM Economic exclusive zone.”
Prof Abdi Ismail Samater said foreign warships came to the Gulf of Aden to protect only their interests and the increasing insurance costs.
But the spokesperson for EU NAVFOR said that their main objective is to escort World Food Programme (WFP) ships so they can deliver humanitarian aid to the Somali people.
“Since we started Dec 2008 we have escorted more than 80 ships who have delivered more than 410 000 metric tons. That feeds 1 300 000 people every day”, he told AfricaNews.
‘Other missions are to escort AMISOM logistic ships and other vulnerable ships. We are also mandated to disrupt and deter acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast”.
Somali pirates are causing havoc in the Gulf of Aden, one of the world's busiest shipping routes connecting Europe to Asia and the Middle East.
“There are stories that piracy probably started as a reaction to foreign illegal fishing over 10 years ago.
However, the pirates are no longer motivated by good causes - all of the recent attacks off the East coast of Somalia have been hundreds of miles from Somali waters and have been for financial gain only”, said Per Klingvall.
In sharp contrast to the EU Naval force for Somalia, Professor Samatar says a number of pirate are out to make money, some are patriots who are out to defend the waters against looting.
“All power full states are just pushing only their interests. Somali pirates took only $35 million each year while foreign companies loot $350 m seafood annually.
No-one is addressing looting but world bodies are busy discussing pirates”, he said.
Prof Samater says western nations are only focused to fight pirates since it is a threat to their economy.
“No one is listening to a weak person who is crying and saying “please don’t take my fish”. No nation is serious for Somali issue. They are all busy for their interests”.
Warships from the United States, Britain, Japan, France and other countries have been trying to stop Somali pirates, but have been unable to uproot the problem of piracy.
The international community has been focused on training Somali ground forces--military and police--to defend Somali government from Islamist rebels but EUNAVFOR spokesperson said they have no mandate to train Somali Naval Force.

Nigeria probes disappearance of 'toxic waste' ship
Published: 20th Oct 2010
Nigeria has ordered an investigation into the disappearance of a ship which was detained in Lagos for allegedly carrying toxic waste.
Officials said the UK-registered ship, the Grand America, off-loaded seven containers suspected of holding electronic waste before leaving between Sunday and Monday.
It is not known who released the ship.
Africa has become a popular destination for the illegal dumping of toxic e-waste from the developed world.
The Grand America was detained at the port about a week ago, together with another ship carrying a similar cargo.
The containers are still at the port.
Ngeri Benebo, director general of Nigeria's environmental standards enforcement agency, told the BBC that the Grand America had arrived at Lagos via Antwerp in Belgium.
She said the other ship, the MV Veradin, was originally from New York and had arrived via Spain.
The BBC's Chris Ewokor, in Abuja, says the disappearance of the ship raises questions of security lapses at Nigeria's sea ports and the possibility of complicity by security and port authorities.
It is not the first time that toxic waste has been dumped in Nigeria.
In 1987 more than 3,500 tonnes of toxic waste was dumped at Koko, a town in the southern Delta State.
The Basel Action Network, a pressure group that monitors the trade in hazardous waste, recently published a report which claimed that about 500 containers with 400,000 second-hand computers were unloaded every month in Lagos ports.
The dumping of millions of obsolete computers in Africa remains a problem, our correspondent says.
Greenpeace also says Nigeria is a popular destination for toxic waste.

... and ECOTERRA Intl. says: Deja vu! In the beginning of the Mafia affairs in Somalia the toxic waste ships also still docked at harbours like Bosaso and Mogadishu. Later they just dumped straight until coastal defenders swore to bring up any of these criminal polluters and attacked the vessels. Nigera might well see now a further uprising in armed self-help, if the government can not guarantee the safety of its people and ships like the MV GRAND AMERICA can slip away together with their criminal helpers in Antwerp, the U.S., Spain or elsewhere.
But neither the allegedly UK-registered
MV GRAND AMERICA nor the so called MV VERADIN, said to be still at the docks, are listed in the regular ship registers. This is where Nigeran investigations should start and they most likely will have to look not very far. Otherwise Nigeria might even have to consider a little hint to some Somali buccaneers with the picture of the mysterious MV GRAND AMERICA and the promise of a "finder's fee" in the unlikely case it could be found in the Indian Ocean after escaping from the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos.
But while now everybody is hopefully clamping down on some Mafia criminals calling themselves "recyclers", one should not forget the real terrorists:
It is no secret that the U.S. military has used the ocean as trash-can for munitions in the past. U.S. federal lawmakers were pressing the US Army to reveal everything it knows about a massive international program to dump chemical weapons off homeland and foreign shores. "The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels." See the Daily Press's in depth coverage of this whole issue. Registration is free and only takes a minute or two and is extremely worthwhile. Included at the site are maps of disposal sites (downloadable as pdfs), stories, descriptions of items dumped including nerve and mustard gas, and rather depressing pictures.
It has been revealed that foreign navies also use DU (depleted uranium) ammunition in attacks against so-called pirates around the Horn of Africa and spray as well as for training and pleasure shooting excercises on these waters.
Meanwhile European folk should revisit:

The Basel Action Network (BAN)  lists the following institutions and countries (in alphabetical order) and states that these organizations are actively working to undermine the Basel Convention's Ban Decision and Amendment designed to end the dumping of hazardous wastes from rich to poorer nations.
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • International Council on Metals and Mining (ICMM)
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), [which manages an NGO called IMB (International Maritime Bureau) in London (with an intentionally chosen name similar to the IMO, the International Maritime Organization of the UN) and it's offshoot the so-called Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, which regularly covers up and protects the criminal interests of owners of e.g. illegal fishing vessels.]
  • New Zealand
  • Sustainable Development Network
  • United Nations Center for Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • United States
For more information see Basel Ban Page.







Genuine members of families of the abducted seafarers can call +254-719-603-176 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +254-719-603-176      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for further details or send an e-mail in any language to office[AT]

Sea-jacked British couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, aged 59 and 56, were abducted from their 38-ft yacht S/Y LYNN RIVAL, seized October 22, 2009 en route to Tanzania, and are still held in Somalia. The yacht was recovered by the crew of UK naval vessel Waveknight, after they witnessed the transfer of the Chandlers to commandeered MV KOTA WAJAR. The yacht was brought back to England. The elderly couple is now held on land close to Adado, sometimes separated for fear of a commando attack. The case is turning more and more ugly with pirates becoming brutal, politicians ignorant and the financially incapable family intimidated by several sidelines, whose money-guided approach is undermining bids by local elders, human rights groups and the Somali Diaspora to get the innocent couple free. Some humanitarian efforts, however, have succeeded and Somali elders, respected leaders and the Somali Diaspora have renewed their demand for an unconditional release. Latest reports from the ground say that the couple is now treated better, though they often are kept separated for fear of a military rescue attempt. Since the health of both elderly people at the beginning of the year was reportedly deteriorating rapidly relief and medicine has been sent by a humanitarian organization and was received by the couple. Repeatedly rumours were spread concerning attacks, wounding or killing one of the hostages and also about a release managed by the TFG, but all these stories became so far not true. With former British Premier Gordon Brown gone, some believed that the incoming politicians under conservative Premier David Cameron maybe would be more rational and humanitarian minded, would not abandon their citizens but would extend help to solve the appalling case. Unfortunately for the elderly couple in captivity also the new government in the UK made it clear that no ransom would be paid by the British government and British MPs, who had enough and wanted to cut through, were quickly whistled back. Professor Mohamed Omar Dalha, the Minister for Rehabilitation and Social Affairs of the Somali Transitional Federal Government of Somalia had repeatedly been pleading with the hostage takers to release the couple, but to no avail. Also the direct approach by the family seems to have had some not so successful advisers, because an attempt to free the Chandlers mid June 2010 didn't work out, while the family according to Reuters allegedly already lost the 430,000 US$ they had collected by paying that amount blindly to to elders involved in the negotiations, a clan chief told Reuters. The pirates had demanded a $7 million ransom for the couple, but reduced the figure to less than $1 million. Most recently the British officials who still hold a firm grip on the next of kin of the abducted couple, seem to have embarked on a campaign under the motto: "If we can't get them free, nobody else shall!" and concentrated their efforts not on uniting capable people and available resources to get a solution, but to just frustrate any independent effort. Such can be summarized as factual abandonment, though - in order to be fair - it also must be stated very clearly that neither the Transitional Federal Government, be it President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed himself, nor the Prime-Minister or several cabinet-ministers, who all promised to get the hostages free, have achieved anything. Likewise the Somali Diaspora, who apparently collected money, which now is said to have disappeared, did also not proof to be helpful. With next of kin in retreat, the British government blocking, officials incapable, the media gagged and even friends helpless, the changes of the Chandlers look bleak, while fundamentalist Al-Shabaab are approaching the area where they are held. The last proof of life from the couple dates from mid October 2010. Due to fighting around Adado, the hostage takers moved them further afield. Their welfare is being monitored by Mr Chandler's sister Jill Marshment, who lives in Tewkesbury, the Mail on Sunday stated and claimed that a British man operating as a consultant for Save the Children (UK), who subsequently also was kidnapped at gunpoint but released six days later, was involved in trying to negotiate the release of Paul and Rachel Chandler.

MV SOCOTRA 1: Seized December 25. 2009. The vessel carrying a food cargo for a Yemeni businessman and bound for Socotra Archipelago was captured in the Gulf of Aden after it left Alshahir port in the eastern province of Hadramout. 6 crew members of Yemeni nationality were aboard. Latest information said the ship was commandeered onto the high seas between Oman and Pakistan, possibly in another piracy or smuggling mission. 2 of the original crew are reportedly on land in Puntland. VESSEL STILL MISSING and/or working as pirate ship.

FV AL-SHURA (AL-SHUVAL?): Seized after February 20, 2010 and most likely on 25th February with one of 9 the Yemeni sailors being killed by the Somali pirate-attackers. Allegedly the pirates now left the vessel and the dhow was returned to her owner, but independent confirmation is still awaited from Yemen. A similar dhow named AL-SHUVAL was said to have be moored off Garacad at the North-Eastern Indian ocean coast off Somalia until recently and was observed at Dhanaane and then moved away. The vessel is now missing.

BB AL-NISR-AL-SAUDI: Seized on March 01, 2010. The relatively small bunker barge Al Nisr Al Saudi with a deadweight of 5,136 ton s was returning to Jeddah after delivering its cargo to Japan . The vessel therefore was empty when it was sea-jacked in the Gulf of Aden and in the vicinity of Aden port . The captain of the ship is Greek and the nationality of the 13 other crew is Sri Lankan. All crew is believed to be safe. The ship was not registered with maritime authorities and was outside the designated route that naval warships patrol. Communications between the pirates and the owner were established soon after the capture and contrary to many other vessels the families of the hostage-seafarers are very well taken care of, though the negotiations concerning the release of the vessel and crew were at first not forthcoming. The vessel then moved from Garacad and is currently held at Kulub, from where negotiations commenced again and are near to be concluded. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) had asked the ship owner to explain the prolonged difficulties being faced by the ship's crew in the light of complaints lodged by Sri Lankan and Greek authorities. Kamal Arri, manager of International Bunkering, the company which owns the Al Nisr Al Saudi ship, told a newspaper the insurance company had agreed to pay the ransom after the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) gave preliminary approval. "We are now waiting for the Interior Ministry's approval," he told Arab News on Monday, August 01, 2010. He had requested Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Prince Naif to intervene in the matter to win the release of the ship and crew as quickly as possible. He said the insurance company's refusal to provide fuel could lead to the ship drifting powerless and possibly being damaged or sunk. Arri told the paper his company had lost SR30m (US$8m) as a result of the hijack and that the insurance had agreed to pay the US$20m ransom, which sounded strange. But he later stated that he made a mistake while speaking to Arab News in how much ransom the pirates were demanding, saying: “I told the reporter that the sum was $20 million. In fact, this was the amount previously demanded by the pirates which was greatly reduced later,” said Kamal Arri, the owner of the Al-Nisr. “I am only concerned now with the safe return of all sailors on board. They were desperate. In my last telephone conversation with them yesterday (Monday 02. Aug.), the Greek captain complained that the pirates were making them sleep on deck while they were using the cabins and rooms themselves, and they have been physically beaten and tortured,” he said. Allegedly the captors are preparing the vessel for another piracy operation, but still hold it near Kulub.

MV ICEBERG I: Seized March 29, 2010. The UAE-owned, Panama-flagged Ro-Ro vessel MV ICEBERG 1 with her 24 multinational crew members ( 9 Yemenis, 6 Indians, 4 from Ghana, 2 Sudanese, 2 Pakistani and 1 Filipino) was sea-jacked just 10nm outside Aden Port, Gulf of Aden. The vessel was mostly held off Kulub at the North-Eastern Indian  Ocean coast of  Somalia, while negotiations have not yet achieved a solution. The USS McFaul intercepted and identified the ship on 19th May 2010, despite the pirates having painted over her name and re-named the ship SEA EXPRESS, while the vessel was on a presumed piracy mission on the high-seas. Since about 50 pirates on the ship made any rescue operation impossible without endangering the 24 crew, the naval ship followed the commandeered vessel's movements for the next 36 hours, until it began to sail back towards the coast of Somalia.  It has transpired that the shipping company Azal Shipping based in Dubai refuses to pay any ransom and the ship is apparently not insured, though it carries very valuable cargo and it seems that the British cargo owner is in charge of the negotiations. The sailors have no more food, water or medicine from their stores on board. While all the seafarers are starving, a few of them already are getting sick, though none of the sailors suffers from a serious health condition yet. First Officer Kumar, Chief Engineer Mohamed and Second Engineer Francis also stated that they urgently need Diesel for the electricity generators. The crew requested again humanitarian intervention as before and has now received some supplies through intervention by local elders and a humanitarian group. Recently negotiations for the release started in earnest, but have not been concluded, because the captors consider the offer of the shipowner as unrealistic. According to the Chinese state-media newswire XINHUA, the acting director at the ministry of foreign affairs in Accra (Ghana) Mr. Lawrence Sotah said the ministry, in response to a petition by a relative of one of the hostages, had commenced investigations, but reportedly stated also that their location and reasons for the kidnapping remained unknown. "We do not have any information as to what the pirates are demanding, because the owners of the ship or the pirates themselves have not put out any information which will be helpful for us to know exactly what they want," he said. "Ghana’s mission in Saudi Arabia has been contacted to assist, " Sotah said. He said the ministry was working with other international security organization to get to the bottom of what he termed the "alleged" kidnapping. One of the sailors from Ghana was able to speak to a journalist back home and stated on 22. September: “They have given us a 48 hour deadline that if we don’t come up with anything reasonable they will kill some of us and sink the vessel. I am appealing to the Ghanaian authority that they should do something to save our lives because our treatment here is inhuman”. The vessel is now very close to the shore of Garacad. In the beginning of October the Somali pirates allegedly threatened to kill the sailors and to sell the body organs of the 22 hostages, if their ransom demands are not met in the near future. Media reports said the information was received via a text message from one of the hostages, but investigations showed that the message, which read that the pirates will kill them and then remove their eyes and kidneys in order to be sold, is more a sort of a macabre hoax. Apparently now it is said that the group holding the ship will use it again to capture other vessels. Vessel and crew are held at Kulub near Garacad at the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia.

FV JIH-CHUN TSAI 68 (日春財68號) : Seized March 31, 2010. The Taiwan-flagged and -owned fishing vessel with factory facility was attacked together with sister-ship Jui Man Fa (瑞滿發) , which managed to escape. The vessels are operating out of the Seychelles and reportedly had been observed in Somali waters earlier. The crew of Jih-chun Tsai No. 68 consists of 14 sailors - a Taiwanese captain along with two Chinese and 11 Indonesian seamen. The vessel is now held at Kulub at the North-Eastern Indian  Ocean coast of  Somalia and at first negotiations faced serious communication problems,  while later a conclusion allegedly was achieved. But the release could still not be effected, since the brokers as well as the pirate-group holding the vessel changed. Allegedly money was sent into the wrong hands and never reached those holding the vessel and the seafarers hostage. It was reported in the meantime that the Taiwanese captain had several times been beaten severely. However, a release of vessel and crew from Kulub seems to be near now.

FV NN - IRANIAN FISHING VESSEL: Seized before April 02, 2010. The gang of sea-shifta, which had captured the Indian dhow MSV KRISHNA JYOT and ran out of fuel near Socotra, seized the Iranian fishing vessel and set the dhow free with her crew unharmed while going off with the Iranian fishing vessel. While the vessel had at first not come to any shore in Somalia and was believed to be used as piracy platform, some sources reported the vessel later from Kulub and now from Habo at the Gulf of Aden coast. In the first days of October, an Iranian fishing dhow was observed to be held captive off Hobyo at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast.

VLCC SAMHO DREAM: Seized April 02, 2010. The Marshall Islands-registered "Samho Dream", a 300,000t oil tanker owned by South Korea's Samho Shipping, was seized by three Somali pirates in waters some 1,500 km south-east of the Gulf of Aden at around 16:10 Seoul time (0710 GMT). There are a total of 24 crew members on board, including five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos. The 319,000 dwt very large crude carrier was on its way from Iraq to Louisiana of the United States. The Samho Dream, which was built in 2002, is carrying crude oil that could be worth as much as $170 million at current oil prices. The vessel had been commandeered to Hobyo at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast  and is now anchored 4.6nm off the beach. The South Korean government ordered their destroyer Chungmugong Yi Sun-shin out of the Somali waters and back to its working routine in the Gulf of Aden, but still there are two warships keeping a watch close by, staging mock attacks and caused tension on board, which made the pirates to issue a statement that they would blow up the oil-tanker if the harassment would not stop and no ransom would be paid. soon. Though negotiations with the owners are ongoing no conclusion has been reached. The vessel was moved from Hobyo, where she was held since her capture until the advancement of Al-Shabaab spearheaded Hizb-ul-Islam groups, to Garacad, but was returned to Hobyo. The pirates' demand has not been accepted by the company. Captain Kim Sung-kyu told Yonhap News in a phone call that the 24-member crew with five Koreans and 19 Filipinos is now living in sub-human conditions. Kim said the abuses are getting worse as the pirates deprive them of sleep and food and threaten to kill them one by one if a ransom is not paid. He also expressed frustration towards the Samho Shipping Company's silence over the pirates' latest demands, which were issued last Saturday (05. Sept. 2010). The vessel was held clearly visible off the coast off Hobyo at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast, when a group of  international media representatives visited the coastal town in August.  MT SAMHO DREAM left that anchorage area off Hobyo) in the morning hours on 14th of Sep 2010. The ship is still commandeered as one skiff has been sighted on board. At 0505Z she was heading eastward at 08/09 kts and was about 80nm east of Somali coast, NATO reported. The shipping community was warned that vessel might have been  used either to investigate sea states or to conduct mothership operations in the vicinity of shipping lanes. The giant oil-tanker then was commandeered first to Garcad, and Negotiations have reportedly become extremely difficult. NATO also assesses that the pirated VLCC Samho Dream was conducting pirate mother ship operations near the shipping lanes, approximately 190 nm SE of Socotra Island (approximately 10 38N 056 44E), where the vessel was observed tracking eastbound. The Samho Dream is approximately 333 m long, with an orange hull and white superstructure. This vessel represents an active threat to merchant shipping and any small boat observed in the vicinity of the Samho Dream should be considered to be a potential pirate vessel. Since the 4th of October, however, the vessel is again held off Hobyo at the central Somali Indian Ocean coast.

MV RAK AFRIKANA: Seized April 11, 2010, the general cargo vessel (IMO 8200553) with a dead-weight of 7,561 tonnes (5992t gross) was captured at 06h32 approximately 280 nautical miles west of Seychelles and 480nm off Somalia in position 04:45S - 051:00E.   The captured vessel flies a flag of convenience from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and has as registered owner RAK AFRICANA SHIPPING LTD based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and an offices in the Seychelles, while industry sources say the beneficial owner is from China. AL SINDBAD SHIPPING & MARINE from Ras al Khaimah (UAE) serves as manager. While China's Seafarers Union, based on an outdated ITF database, first spoke of 23 Chinese nationals as crew, the shipowner says there are 26 seamen from  India, Pakistan and Tanzania on board. The actual crew-list has not been provided yet and the crew is not covered by an ITF agreement, but it could be established that the crew comprises of 11 Indians, including the captain, the second and third officer, as well as 10 Tanzanians and 5 Pakistanis. The vessel stopped briefly due to engine problems - around 280 nautical miles (520 kilometres) west of the Seychelles - but was then commandeered to Somalia and was held off Ceel Huur not far from Harardheere at the Central Somali Indian Ocean Coast, from where it was moved to Ga'an and further towards Hobyo, but then it was still held in the vicinity of Harardheere. When the pirates tried to leave the ;last time from that location they were pushed back by the navies to the shore and the vessel is now held near Xamdule (Hamdule is between Hobyo and Harardheere). The captors have forced the crew to fly the Italian flag, signalling the beneficial owner of the vessel.  Negotiations have reportedly broken down because the interpreter is confused while not knowing if he is talking to the right people.

2 YEMENI FISHING VESSELS: Two Yemeni fishing vessels were seized by presumed Somali sea-gangs during the week 09th to 16th April in the Gulf of Aden. The Yemeni coastguard did not specify the name of the vessels and only reported in one case the crew as comprising of three Yemeni nationals. Recent reports that the dhows might have returned to Yemen were officially not yet confirmed.

THAI FISHING FLEET: Seized April 18, 2010 with a total crew of 77 sailors, of which 12 are Thai and the others of different nationalities, the Thailand-flagged vessels operating out of Djibouti were fishing illegal in the Indian Ocean off Minicoy Island in the fishing grounds of the Maldives. All three vessels were then commandeered towards the Somali coast by a group of in total around 15 Somalis.
FV PRANTALAY 11 with a crew of 26
FV PRANTALAY 12 with a crew of 25
FV PRANTALAY 14 with a crew of 26
None of these vessels is registered and authorized by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission to  fish in the Indian Ocean.
The fleet is now held off the coast at Kulub near Garacad (06 59N 049 24E) at the north-eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia. The captors already threatened since months to use one of the hunter-vessels of the group as a piracy-launch, while negotiations have not been forthcoming. Prantalay 14 left the coast in the morning of 20. September to what is said to be another piracy expedition. Three skiffs, three ladders and other equipment were observed to be on board.  The vessel has been  further observed on 28. September near the shipping lanes in the area. On 30. September  at 10h15 UTC a Pirate Action Group consisting of one skiffs with ladders and weapons was reported in position 07 34 N 057 39 E, which is assessed to be connected to an operation of this fishing vessel as Mother Ship - reported in position 06 47 N 060 51 E. A regional minister from Puntland got into problems when final negotiations for the release of the held vessels were supposed to take place at Garacad, but went sour. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva wants the navy to extend its anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia for another month. He will seek cabinet approval for an additional budget of about 100 million baht for this purpose, navy chief Admiral Kamthorn Phumhiran said earlier. Adm Kamthorn said Mr Abhisit wants the mission of The Royal Thai Navy Counter Piracy Task Unit of two navy ships with 351 sailors and 20 special warfare troops on board, which had left Thailand on Sept 10 and is now operating in the Gulf of Aden, extended. The mission was originally set for 98 days, ending on Dec 12., but the usual fishing season goes beyond that time, which is believed to be behind the extension demands.

FV TAI YUAN 227:  Seized on May 06, 2010 in an area north of the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Seychelles as it headed for the Maldives. The Taiwanese fishing boat has a crew of 28 (9 Chinese, 3 Vietnamese, 3 Filipinos, 7 Kenyans and 2 from Mozambique). Taiwan's foreign ministry confirmed that the vessel had been seized after the Taipei Rescue Command Centre reported the incident to  have taken place in approximate position 0105N-06750E . The ministry added that contact was made o n Friday with the pirates who made an unspecified ransom demand, while the vessel is heading towards the Somali coast . The vessel has no authorization by the Indian Ocean Commission to fish in the Indian Ocean, which, however, is partly explained by the fact that China is opposed to Taiwan as flag state. Due to the inaction of the ship-owner and the Taiwan government to free the vessel, it was used again as launch for further piracy attacks. Vessel and crew was held off Habo at the Puntland coast of the Gulf of Aden, but now the Taiwanese fishing vessel is said by the NATO Shipping Centre (NSC) to be operating as pirate mother-ship within an area of a 200nm radius from 06 degrees 50 minutes north and 65 degrees 00 minutes east. NSC 'Counter Piracy Operation Ocean Shield' warns Masters . The vessel has even the potential to conduct pirate operations further out. The Tai Yuan 227 is a white hulled fishing vessel, approximately 50 metres long, with the registration numbers BH3Z87 painted in large black letters on the hull. NATO sounded a warning when at 21h00 UTC (18h00 local time) on October 19 2010 the commandeered FV Tai Yuan 227 was sighted in position Latitude: 11°00N Longitude: 61°00E.

FV AL-DHAFIR: Seized on May 07, 2010 off the coast of Yemen the Yemen coastguard of the Arabian peninsular state reported. Yemen's Defence Ministry confirmed that the 7 Yemeni nationals on board were abducted to Somalia. Yemen's coastguard said Somali pirates captured the fishing vessel, while it was docked at a Yemeni island in the Red Sea and had taken it to Somalia. The coastguard was continuing its efforts to retrieve the boat, the Defence Ministry said, but meanwhile the dhow is said to be held at the Somali shore close to Kulub.

MT MARIDA MARGUERITE: Seized May 08, 2010, around120nm south of the Omani port of Salalah in the protected shipping corridor, the German owner-managed, US-owner-registered chemical tanker of 13.273 dwt has a crew of 22 seamen, including 19 Indians, two Bangladeshi and one Ukrainian. The vessel is flying a flag of convenience (FOC) from the Marshall Islands . The tanker was held at the north-eastern Somali Indian Ocean coast near Garacad but then changed position to a location off the Gulf of Aden Coast near Habo. Negotiations have not been forthcoming and the vessel was mid August commandeered southwards to Hobyo in a possible move to provide cover for the release of the Korean supertanker held there, but has been commandeered back northwards too, when the oil-tanker first left from Hobyo. Vessel and crew are said to be held now near Dinowda Quorioweyn close to the MV Suez.

MV ELENI P was seized in the morning of May 12, 2010, the Greek-owned, Liberia-flagged 72,100 dwt bulker was sea-jacked around 380 nm south-east of Salalah (Oman) in position 15°55N / 060°50E. The 23 crew comprises of 19 Filipinos, 2 Greek and one Ukrainian sailor, who are said to be unharmed. Reports say that  the vessel - then sailing under another name as SEAHORSE - had been attacked already before on April 09, 2009. The vessel is still held near Garacad at the north-eastern Somali Indian Ocean coast and negotiations were earlier reported difficult.

MT GOLDEN BLESSING: Seized in the morning at 03h27 UTC (06h27 loc al time) of June 28, 2010, the Singapore flagged, Chinese-managed 14,300 DWT chemical tanker GOLDEN BLESSING (IMO number 9539016) was plying the waters inside the Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor (IRTC) on her way from Saudi Arabia to India, when the 19 men strong all Chinese crew was overwhelmed at position Latitude: 13°23.7N Longitude: 049°58E and taken hostage in the view of a helicopter from a nearby naval vessel. Singapore's Maritime Port Authority (MPA) confirmed the sea-jacking of the Singapore-registered ship. The 2010-built Handy tanker was then commandeered by its Somali captors  to the Somali Indian Ocean coast, where it stopped at Bargaal, but was later taken back into the Gulf of Aden, where it was held near MT MOTIVATOR at the northern Puntland shores off Habo (Xabo). The China-owned tanker carries as cargo around 15,000 m³ of highly toxic ethylene glycol - a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze,Li Jingzhong, spokesman of the charterer company SHANGHAI DINGHENG SHIPPING CO, was able to contact the captain of the ship and could establish that the crew is safe. Vessel and crew are not covered by an ITF agreement. After first contacts for negotiations concerning the release had been made by the owner-managers Advance Shipping for registered owner GOLDEN PACIFIC INTL & HOLDINGS, the mediation progressed positively. Vessel and crew are said to be held off Bargaal at the tip of the Horn of Africa.

At 09h44 UTC (12h44 local time) on 4 July, the tanker's captain reported they were under small arms fire from a pirate attack in position 13°16N / 042°56E in the northern Bab Al Mandeb area - around 50nm north of the Bab al-Mandeb andg south when she was attacked by two small vessels in the southern Red Sea. After the initial notification of this attack, unsuccessful attempts were made to contact the Greek-owned vessel. The  capture then was confirmed early on 5. July at Latitude: 11°33N, Longitude: 045°28E in the Gulf of Aden. Position 11 ° 50 / 45 ° 00 is Point A of the internationally protected maritime shipping corridor through the Gulf of Aden, called the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC). The MT MOTIVATOR, with a dead-weight of 13,065 tonnes has a crew of 18 Filipino nationals on board, though the Philippine government had ruled out that Pinoy crews could be allowed to sail these dangerous waters through the Gulf of Aden. The sea-jacked ship is a Marshall Islands flagged chemical products tanker loaded with lubrication-oil and therefore is posing the potential danger of an oil-spill. While at least one foreign warship intercepted the captured merchant-vessel's path towards the Somali coast and shadowed the situation, it has become clear that the pirate group hails from Puntland. The commandeered vessel stopped briefly north of Puntland and intended to proceed towards the pirate stronghold of Garacad, but it is held now close to Xabo at the Gulf of Aden coast due to a dispute between the captors from Puntland and other pirate groups at Garacad. Xabo (Habo) became infamous for the holding of two tugboats and their crews for over a year. The 18 Filipino seafarers on board the MT MOTIVATOR are all accounted for and safe, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. Philippine's executive director Enrico Fos of the DFA’s Office of the Under-secretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) said the seafarers were able to communicate with their families to let them know that all crew is well.  “The pirates have also already called the ship’s principal, but no demands have yet been made," he added. Vessel and crew are now held off Bander Beyla at the North-Eastern Indian-Ocean coast of Puntland.

MV SUEZ: In the early hours at 0420 UTC of AUG 02, 2010, the MV SUEZ (IMO number 8218720) reported being under small arms fire from a pirate attack by one of 3 skiffs in position 13 02N - 048 54E and minutes later the Indian captain reported pirates on board.
After notification of the attack, attempts were made by the navies, who are supposed to protect the area, to make contact with the MV SUEZ, but to no avail. Egyptian-owned MV SUEZ was travelling under flag of convenience from Panama in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) when attacked. Immediately after the first report a helicopter was directed to the ship but pirates had already taken over the command of the vessel, EU NAVFOR reported.
Two NATO warships, HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën and USS Cole, from the NATO counter piracy task force undertaking Operation OCEAN SHIELD, and a Singaporean warship the RSS Endurance from the CMF taskforce were within forty miles of MV Suez at the time of the attack.  Despite reacting immediately and having a helicopter on the scene within 10 minutes, naval forces were unable to prevent the attack as the pirates had been able to board the ship within 5 minutes, NATO reported.
The case actually shows that though the ship was reportedly employing Best Management Practices, having barbed wire in place and fire hoses ready, the waters off Yemen and opposite Puntland are the most dangerous in the whole area. Somali sea-shifta are able to outwit and overcome any preventive measures - including arms on board, which only would drive the casualty figures higher. The incident actually highlights once again that it is high time to follow the advice to engage and help local Somali communities along the two coasts to make their coastlines safer themselves and to empower them to rule out the holding of any hostage from these innocent merchant vessels.
The MV SUEZ, with a deadweight of 17, 300 tonnes, has a crew of 24, according to NATO, while EU Navfor said 23 and the last crew-list: showed 21 with 9 Egyptians, 7 Pakistani, 3 Indians and 2 Sri Lankans. It could be confirmed in the meantime that the 23 men crew consists of 11 Egyptians, 6 Indians, 4 Pakistani and 2 Sri Lankans. Crew and shipowner do not have an ITF Approved CBA agreement and - due to overdue survey - the ship's classification status had been withdrawn by Germanischer Lloyd since 28. 06. 2010. The detailed, actual crew list is awaited. RED SEA NAVIGATION CO. serves as ship manager for owner MATSO SHIPPING CO. INC. - both from Port Tawfiq in Egypt. Red Sea Navigation's commercial director Mohamed Abdel Meguid said his company already paid a US$1.5 million ransom last year (actually it was  the year before) for another hostage ship, the MV MANSOURAH 1 (aka Al Mansourah), which was sea-jacked on 03. September 2008 and released against the ransom after only 23 days. As DPA reported from Cairo a day later, an official with Red Sea Navigation Company, who declined to be identified publicly, said that the company would not pay a ransom and that the matter was being handled by the Foreign Ministry in Cairo.
MV SUEZ, the merchant vessel with a cargo of cement bags destined for Eritrea, was then commandeered towards the north-eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia and was expected at the pirate lair of Garacad in Puntland, but there pirate groups are fighting among each other and have come recently under pressure from Puntland forces. The vessel therefore  dropped at first anchor near Bargaal and then was commandeered back again to the Gulf of Aden coast of Puntland, where it was held close to Bolimoog, between Alula and Habo at the very northern tip of the Horn of Africa. Thereafter the ship was moved again to the Indian Ocean coast near Dinowda Qorioweyn.
"The pirates are treating us toughly, and they took some of the crew to unknown place to exert pressure on owners of the ship," Farida Farouqe quoted her husband as telling her over the phone, as Xinhua news agency reported.  The alleged demands vary between one, four and six million dollars, while officially the ship owner has been reported as saying already earlier that no ransom will be paid, while the cargo-owners seem to have been negotiating.  Vessel and crew are now held off Dinowda Quorioweyn at the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Puntland.

Seized August 26, 2001. The earlier reports provided by maritime observers speaking of the capture of a fishing vessel were confirmed now to the extend that the type and flag of the vessel have been identified. A Yemeni fishing vessel with at least 10 sailors on board was seized in the territorial waters of Somalia. The name of the vessel and Yemeni registration is not yet known. The Yemeni boat was sailing near the north coast of Somalia when the captors attacked it with small skiffs. They later headed toward the Somali coast. Present location unknown.

Seized September 08, 2010. Reports from our local observers were confirmed by EU NAVFOR: Early on the morning of 8 September, the Malta-flagged Merchant Vessel (MV) OLIB G (IMO 8026608) - a Greek-owned chemical tanker - was pirated in the east part of the protected Gulf of Aden corridor. After having received a report from a merchant vessel that a skiff was approaching MV OLIB G, and after several unsuccessful attempts to make contact with the vessel, the USS PRINCETON warship of Task Force 151 launched its helicopter. The helicopter was able to identify two pirates on board MV OLIB G, the EU report stated.  The MV OLIB G was sailing West in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor en route from Alexandria to India through the Gulf of Aden - allegedly carrying only ballast. The Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) is an area in which EU NAVFOR (Task Force 465), NATO (Task Force 508) and Combined Maritime Force (Task Force 151) coordinate the patrol of maritime transits. It is, however, not known yet if the vessel was involved in dumping or why it was just sailing with ballast. The MV OLIB G, deadweight 6,375 tons, has a crew of 18, among which are 15 Georgian and 3 Turkish. Crew and vessel are not covered by ITF Agreement. The vessel has as registered owners FRIO MARITIME SA and as manager FRIO VENTURES SA, both of Athens in Greece. The attack group is said to consist of people from the Majerteen (Puntland) and Warsangeli (Sanaag) clans, who had set out from Elayo. After the well timed attack - more or less synchronized with attacks on two other vessels - and the subsequent overpowering of the crew the vessel was then commandeered towards the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia, where it is now held near Eyl. The owner of the vessel initially offered a ransom of $75,000, but later raised it to $150,000. However, the sea pirates want no less than $15 million, a Press TV correspondent reported. Vessel and crew are at present held off Kulub at the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia.

NASTA AL YEMEN: Reportedly seized on Sept. 14, 2010. Number of crew yet unknown, but presumed 9. Further report awaited from Yemen.

: On Sept. 28, 2010, five employees of NATIONLINK, a telecommunications provider, were hi-jacked at gunpoint from their offices in Lasqorey, the coastal town of Warsangeliland (Sanaag Region) in Central Northern Somalia. The five Somali men are now held hostage by relatives of a pirate gang and demands have been made to free 8 jailed pirates from Mandheera prison in Somaliland.

Similar demands had been made with the hi-jacking of Somaliland lorries and their drivers earlier.
The prisoners were seized in Maydh by the Somaliland coast guards, who accused them of being sea pirates. The regional court of Sanaag Region sentenced them to 11 year imprisonment and transferred them to Somaliland.
The Police Commissioner of Somaliland stated “The Police was not aware when the nation Link staff went to Lasqorey and they even did not inform the Police commander in Cerigavo. Now we contacted traditional leaders in Lasqorey, from whose clan the kidnappers hail. At the same time we beefed up security."

MT ASPHALT VENTURE: Seized September 28, 2010 the Panama-flagged was captured on her way from Mombasa - where the vessel left at noon on 27. September, southbound to Durban, at 20h06 UTC = 23h06 local time local time in position 07 09 S 40 59 E. The vessel was sailing in ballast and a second alarm was received at 00h58 UTC = 03h58 . The ship with its 15 all Indian crew was then observed to have turned around and is at present commandeered northwards to Somalia. EU NAVFOR confirmed the case only in the late afternoon of 29. September. Information from the ground says a pirate group from Brava had captured the vessel and at first it was reported that the vessel was heading towards Harardheere at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast, while the tanker had first contact at the Somali coast near Hobyo and was then commandeered further north. The vessel is managed by ISM manager OMCI SHIPMANAGEMENT PVT LTD from Mumbai and owned by BITUMEN INVEST AS from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, who uses INTER GLOBAL SHIPPING LTD from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates as ship-handler. The Government of India and other authorities are informed. The condition of the crew could not yet fully be established, but so far no casualties or injuries are reported.
Vessel and crew are at present held off Kulub at the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia.

FV GOLDEN WAVE 305 (sporting also the Korean name KEUMMI 305) seized October op, 2010. The 241-to large South-Korean-owned but now apparently Kenyan-flagged fishing vessel, which had been transformed from an old merchant ship into a specialized fishing vessel, was already captured possibly in Somali waters, the East African Seafarers Assistance Programme (SAP) reported first.
The owners as well as the international navies kept mum until 17. October, when the British mastered Maritime Security Centre MSC(HOA) notified the case based on a statement by South Korea's Foreign Ministry
Maritime observers working in Somalia with ECOTERRA Intl.
had earlier confirmed that the vessel on that day was already held off the Central Somali coast off Harardheere (Xarardheere), from where then some movement again southwards was observed.
The owners, who had not reported the case
earlier, said then that the position of the capture of the vessel and crew was 03:06S and 047:58E at 07h45 UTC (10h45 local) on 09. Oct. 2010 in the Somali Basin, which would be just 10 miles off the coast of Lamu on the north of the Kenyan coast and near the border with Somalia. But this report is highly questionable since local reports state that the vessel was boarded while inside the Somali waters.
However, ECOTERRA Intl. and SAP urged the Somalis to either open a formal and legal process to prosecute the case of illegal fishing, or to release the vessel, if there is evidence beyond any reasonable doubt that the ship and crew were not fishing illegally in Somali waters.
Since both countries, Kenya and Somalia have ratified the United Nations Common Law on the Sea (UNCLOS) since long, there is no doubt about the maritime boundary between the two states, despite the persistent haggling and attempts on higher levels to alter this.
The vessel is very well known since many years for its poaching operations
was confirmed also by the Malindi Marine Association in Kenya (MaMa-Sea) and ECOP marine, a group of marine protection specialists. The vessel had been illegally entering the Somali fishing grounds with impunity over many years and then usually kept hanging out at the North Kenya banks as well as even off Malindi in order to cover the traces of the illegal activities.
Though the judiciaries of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia as well as e.g. of the regional State of Galmudug still face serious problems, a legal process is possible everywhere in Somalia and not only in Somaliland and Puntland, where the international community has recognized the legal procedures and regularly hands over pirates arrested by the foreign navies into these systems, which even are sentencing people to death and execute the death penalty. Especially because there is an official moratorium on fishing by foreign-flagged vessels in Somali waters since 2008 firmly in place and no legal licences have been issued, the case must be dealt with in front of a court.
ECOTERRA Intl. spokesman Dr. Hans-Juergen Duwe called upon specialized legal organizations, judges and lawyers from benches in friendly nations to come forward and assist the Somali judiciaries in prosecuting such cases, which all too easily are otherwise then just brushed away as pure piracy and thereby kept away from the eyes of the legal eagles and the law - thereby encouraging other fish-poachers to copycat, since the risk to be captured by Somali coastguards or the real buccaneers is still rather minimal.
The vessel has a large crew of 43 seafarers with a South-Korean master and a South-Korean chief engineer as well as two Chinese officers and 39 Kenyans.
Their venture is specialized on scooping by pot-fishing the ever declining populations of coastal crab and rock lobsters, a delicacy for the top-market seafood restaurants the world over, as well as in long-line fishing for the high-priced yellow-fin tuna and Kingfish as well as the rare bill-fish like Marlin and Sailfish as well as the already endangered sword-fish. For the tuna-fishing it would also have to be registered with the Indian Ocean  Tuna Commission (IOTC), but the vessel is not listed there - neither as Keummi 305 nor as Golden Wave.
Also in Kenya local fishing co-operatives as well as the associations of deep-sea anglers had complained
since long about the detrimental activities of this specific vessel, which is persistently using illegal gear. While in the mostly unprotected waters of Somalia their clandestine deals usually were covered with a handful of dollars into the palms of some unscrupulous businessmen, local "authorities" or impoverished local fellows, they apparently also enjoy "protection" from certain cadres in Kenya. However, fishermen contacted at the Kenya coast today actually jubilated that this vessel had been finally captured by the Somalis.
The pirates haven't contacted the ship's agent in the south-eastern South-Korean port city of Busan for any possible negotiation, Yonhap news agency said. The fisheries company that owns the ship shut down its Busan head office due to financial troubles in 2007 and has been operating only with the Keummi 305, it said.
Reports state that Captain Kim Dae Gun himself, who is on board, is the owner of the vessel.
The vessel at first was brought to Harardheere and then moved south to be held around 90 nm south of Harardheere, but on 23. October was then observed by naval forces in the vicinity of the point where a  LPG tanker was sea-jacked  the very day 50nm off Mombasa. The shipping agent could not confirm if the Somalis left their pirate-taxi and it is therefore presumed she shall again be used as mother-ship in Kenyan and Tanzanian waters. Apparently the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is still operating.

on October 10, 2010, while en route from Japan via Singapore to Kenya in Somali waters  at 13h09 UTC in position 01 39S 042 05E, the multi-purpose ship MV IZUMI has an all- Filipino crew of 20.
The ship is owned by Japanese shipping company NYK-Hinode Line Ltd., one of the oldest shipping lines plying the routes from the Far East to East Africa, and is flying a flag of convenience from Panama. The ship had been carrying steel products for the automotive industry from Japan via Singapore towards Mombasa, said its Tokyo-based operator NYK-Hinode Line.

While in the years back the company still had Japanese officers on  board of their vessel, they have now all-Filipino crews despite the ban by the government of the Philippines to employ their nationals on routes endangered by piracy.
EU NAVFOR confirmed the case on 11. Oct. and reported the vessel at a position 170 miles (274 kilometres) south of the Somali capital of Mogadishu and as being commandeered northwards, while a Danish and the EU NAVFOR French warship FS FLOREAL
were close by and were monitoring. Vessel and crew have been now commandeered to Xamdule (Hamdule) between Hobyo and Harardheere at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast.
Japan's transport minister Sumio Mabuchi on Tuesday said Tokyo was "nervously" watching developments while cooperating with the International Maritime Organization in dealing with the suspected pirate attack.
Japan last year joined the United States, China and more than 20 other countries in the maritime operation against pirates who have attacked ships off the Horn of Africa, a key route leading to the Suez Canal.
Tokyo has also dispatched two maritime surveillance aircraft and scores of military personnel to beef up its anti-piracy mission, although their operations are restricted by the country's pacifist constitution.
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force has deployed two destroyers to escort ships in the pirate-infested gulf, and said last month that it had so far provided safe passage for more than 1,000 ships.

  ~ * ~

All vessels navigating in the Indian Ocean are advised to consider keeping East of 60E when routing North/South and to consider routing East of 60E and South of 10S when proceeding to and from ports in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.
The Indian Government has issued a NOTICE on 30th March 2010: All Indian-flagged motorized sailing vessels are - with immediate effect - no longer permitted to ply the waters south and west of a line joining Salalah (Oman) and Malé (Maldives).
- Issued by The Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai.
DIRECTIONS 31. March 2010
The Directorate has issued directions prohibiting the trading of mechanized sailing vessels south and west of the line joining Salalah and Male, with immediate effect.


Briton Murray Watson and Kenyan Patrick Amukhuma are missing since 01. April 2008. They were working on a U.N.-funded project in the Juba valley, were seized by gunmen near Bua'le and taken to Jilib, 280 km (175 miles) south of Mogadishu. According to media reports they are still being held and close sources maintain that the case is one of a so far Unsuccessful Resolution with no independent proof of live since a long time. The meanwhile penniless Kenyan-Somali spouse with 3 children of Mr. Watson appealed recently again for the release of the British researcher.

Political hostage:
French officer Denis Allex. Somali gunmen kidnapped two French security advisers working for the Somali TFG government from the Sahafi Hotel in Mogadishu on July 14 2009. Police said one escaped on Aug. 26 after killing three of his captors, but Marc Aubriere denied killing anyone and said he slipped away while his guards slept. A video released by Al Shabab was showing the second officer still being held  and political demands for his release were made by Al Shabab. On June 9, 2010 the video appeared on a website often used by Islamist militant groups, which said the hostage, named as Denis Allex, had issued a "message to the French people". The video showed the captive in an orange outfit with armed men standing behind him.


- please see: Status of not yet resolved Maritime Incidences off Somalia

 ~ * ~

With the latest captures and releases now still at least 27 seized foreign vessels (29 sea-related hostage cases since yacht SY LYNN RIVAL was abandoned and taken by the British Navy) with a total of not less than 485 hostages (incl. the British sailing couple as well as 5 local employees held for an exchange with pirates imprisoned by Somaliland), are accounted for. Despite a directive by the Philippine government that no Pinoy seafarers should ply these dangerous routes there are now 62Filipinos currently held captive by pirates: 18 on board the MT Motivator, three on board the FV Tai Yuan 227, one on board the MV Iceberg 1, 19 on board the MT Samho Dream, and 21 on board the MV Voc Daisy . The cases are monitored on our actual case-list, while several other cases of ships, which were observed off the coast of Somalia and have been reported or had reportedly disappeared without trace or information, are still being followed too. Over 134 incidences (including attempted attacks, averted attacks and successful sea-jackings) had been recorded for 2008 with 49 fully documented, factual sea-jacking cases for Somalia and the mistaken sinking of one sea-jacked fishing vessel and killing of her crew by the Indian naval force. For 2009 the account closed with 228 incidences (incl. averted or abandoned attacks) with 68 vessels seized for different reasons on the Somali/Yemeni captor side as well as at least TWELVE wrongful attacks (incl. one friendly fire incident) on the side of the naval forces.
For 2010 the recorded account around the Horn of Africa stands at 175 incidences with 141 attacks by Somali sea-shifta resulting in 53 sea-jackings on the one side and the sinking of one merchant vessel (MV AL-ABI ) by machine-gun fire from the Seychelles's coastguard boat TOPAZ (11 Somalis now jailed for 10 years in the Seychelles) as well as the wrongful attack by the Indian navy on an innocent Yemeni fishing vessel on the other. Sea-jacked MV AL-ASSA - without its original Yemeni crew - was used as pirate vessel and likewise sunk with Somali captors released on land.
The naval alliances had since August 2008 and until May 2010 apprehended 1090 suspected pirates, detained and kept or transferred for prosecution 480,  killed at least 64 and wounded over 24 Somalis. (Actual independent update see: EXCLUSIV ). It must, however, be noted that most navies have become since the beginning of 2010 less than transparent and do neither report properly to the Somali government nor through their media outlets on the real number of casualties and injuries.
Not documented cases of absconded vessels are not listed in the sea-jack count until clarification. Several other vessels with unclear fate (although not in the actual count), who were reported missing over the last ten years in this area, are still kept on our watch-list, though in some cases it is presumed that they sunk due to bad weather or being unfit to sail - like the S/Y Serenity, MV Indian Ocean Explorer.Present multi-factorial risk assessment code: GoA: ORANGE / IO: ORANGE  (Red = Very much likely, high season; Orange = Reduced risk, but very likely, Yellow = significantly reduced risk, but still likely, Blue = possible, Green = unlikely). Piracy incidents usually degrade during the monsoon season and rise gradually by the end of the monsoon. Starting from mid February until early April as well as around October every year an increase in piracy cases can be expected. With the onset of the monsoon winds and rough seas piracy cases decline.
If you have any additional information concerning the cases, please send to office[at] - if required we guarantee 100% confidentiality.
For further details and regional information see the Somali Marine and Coastal Monitor and the updated map of the PIRACY COASTS OF SOMALIA. See the archive at and news on

EMERGENCY HELPLINE: sms/call +254-719-603-176

ECOTERRA Intl. is an international nature protection and human rights organization, whose Africa offices in Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania also monitor the marine and maritime situation along the East African Indian Ocean coasts as well as the Gulf of Aden. ECOTERRA is working in Somalia since 1986 and does focus in its work against piracy mainly on coastal development, marine protection and pacification.

N.B.: This status report is mainly for the next of kin of seafarers held hostage, who often do not get any information from the ship-owners or their governments, and shall serve as well as clearing-house for the media.

Source: ECOTERRA Intl.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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jimmy October 25, 2010 3:30 pm (Pacific time)

Why are these criminals still news? Blockade their fuel supplies and see how long they contine to be an issue in rowboats!

Anonymous October 24, 2010 6:45 pm (Pacific time)

xlnt reporting..but sorry, we are spending our time on other things and we have our hands full. we have to build a police state in the U.S., we have to send israel money, we have to attack Iraq and Afghanistan, who were no threat to us, but hey, the military industrial complex needs money ok? Get used to it. By the way, the palestinians will be just fine, go back to your football games and relax..we will take care of you. Drink your flouride water, take your anti-depressants, collect your welfare check and foodstamps, and all will be well..relax, we are in control. And dont forget to watch tv.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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