Threat of Piracy and

Response Initiatives



CAPT Steven D. Poulin
Chief, Office of Maritime & International Law
Piracy Defined


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“…any illegal acts of violence, detention, or… depredation
committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a
private ship…directed on the high seas against another
ship…or against persons or property on board such ship…or
committed against a ship…persons, or property in a place
outside the jurisdiction of any state.” [emphasis added]
- Article 101, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
(LOS Convention)
Current Situation


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Key Factors:
• Sanctuary
• Proximity
• Capability/Technology

As of February 2011, 685 mariners aboard 30
ships were being held for ransom
2010 Piracy and Armed Robbery
Statistics



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From the International Maritime Bureau:

Attacks reported: 445
Geographic breakdown
• SE Asia – 70
• Far East – 44
• Indian Subcontinent – 28
• South America – 40
• Africa – 259
• Other – 4
Related to Somali Piracy:
• Red Sea – 25
• Gulf of Aden – 53
• Somalia – 139

** 107 ships were fired upon in 2010, 96 of
which were in the Gulf of Aden or off
Somalia


2010 Piracy and Armed Robbery
Statistics



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Trends in Piracy off the Horn of
Africa



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GAO analysis of International Maritime Bureau

Hostages taken
2007 – 163
2008 – 815
2009 – 867
2010 - 1065

Success rates (as a percentage of
attempts)
2007 – 36%
2008 – 39%
2009 – 22%
2010 – 30%

• Use of “mother ships” to extend reach

• 10% increase in attacks

• Taking greater risks and demanding
higher ransoms


Economic Costs of Piracy



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Study: The Economic Costs of Maritime Piracy, One Earth
Future Working paper, December 2010:
Annual cost to international
economy: $7 to $12 billion per year

Ransoms
• Payment in 2009 - $177 million
• Payments in 2010 - $238 million
• Average payment in 2010 - $5.4 million

Security Costs
• Per ship transit - $134,000
• Annual cost - $363 million - $2.5 billion

Costs of re-routing
• Annual cost - $3 billion
• Adds 2,700 miles to transit

Insurance
• Excess cost of insurance: $460 million - $3.2 billion

Other costs
• Ship delay
• Impact on fishing and tourism in region


U.S. Legal and Policy
Framework



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- Some relevant criminal statutes

•18 U.S.C. § 1651 (Piracy Under Law of Nations)

Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in
the United States, shall be imprisoned for life.

•18 U.S.C. § 1659 (Attack to Plunder Vessel)

•18 U.S.C. § 2280 (Violence Against Maritime Navigation)

•18 U.S.C. §1201 (Kidnapping)

•18 U.S.C. § 1203 (Hostage taking)

•18 U.S.C. § 371 (Conspiracy)


- Convictions

• Surviving Somali crewmember from the Maersk Alabama attack pled guilty to hijacking, hostage taking,
kidnapping, and conspiracy; sentenced in February 2011 to 33 years and 9 months in prison

• Five pirates convicted of attacking USS Nicholas sentenced in March 2011 to life imprisonment plus 80 years
(first piracy case to go to trial since the Civil War, and the first U.S. conviction for piracy since 1819)

• 14 (13 Somali and 1 Yemeni) charged with piracy, kidnapping and weapons offenses in S/V Quest attack




U.S. Legal and Policy
Framework
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• U.S. Piracy Policy (Addendum to the National Strategy for Maritime Security), 2007



• Executive Order 13536 (signed April 12, 2010)

“I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the deterioration of
the security situation and the persistence of violence in Somalia . . . constitute an unusual and
extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby
declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.” [emphasis added]


• National Security Council Partnership and Action Plan for Countering Piracy

• USCG MARSEC Directive 104-6
Supported by Port Security Advisories (PSA)
o PSA 2-09 (Rev. 3): Non-SSI version of MARSEC Directive 104-6
o PSA 3-09: Guidance on Self-Defense and Defense of Other U.S. Vessels
o PSA 4-09: International Traffic in Arms Regulations
o PSA 5-09: Minimum Guidelines for Contracted Security Services in HRW
o PSA 6-09: Procedures for a Named-based Terrorism Check for Security Personnel
o PSA 8-09: Port State Response to Request for Information Regarding Carriage and
Transport of Self-Defense Weapons Aboard U.S. Commercial Vessels
o PSA 9-09: Expected Courses of Action Following Attacks by Pirates in the Horn of Africa
o PSA 11-09 (Rev. 1): Supplementary Guidance on Antipiracy Defensive Measures for U.S.
flagged vessels operating in High Risk Waters









International Response
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•Various UN Security Council Resolutions: Over the past three years, there have
been seven UN Security Council Resolutions on piracy.

• Combined Task Force (CTF) 151

• Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MCHOA)

• United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization (UKMTO)

• International Maritime Organization (IMO)
o International Ship and Port Facility Security Code

o Best Management Practice Circulars and Resolutions

o Code of Practice for the Investigation of Crimes of Piracy and Armed
Robbery Against Ships

o Djibouti Code of Conduct

o UN Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia

- WG 1: Military and Operational Coordination

- WG 2: Judicial Issues

- WG 3: Strengthening Shipping Self-Awareness
Best Management Practices (BMP 3)

- WG 4: Public Information

- WG 5 (Possibly): Illicit Transnational Financial Flows







Maritime Operational Threat
Response (MOTR)



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• Ensures national level coordination for emerging maritime threats

• Supporting plan to National Strategy for Maritime Security

• Sets lead and supporting Federal agency roles
- Existing law
- Desired U.S. outcome
- Potential magnitude of threat
- Response capabilities
- Asset availability
- Authority to act

• Global MOTR Coordination Center (GMCC)