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Threat of Piracy and Response Initiatives CAPT Steven D. Poulin Chief, Office of Maritime & International Law.

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Presentation on theme: "Threat of Piracy and Response Initiatives CAPT Steven D. Poulin Chief, Office of Maritime & International Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Threat of Piracy and Response Initiatives CAPT Steven D. Poulin Chief, Office of Maritime & International Law

2 Piracy Defined 2 “…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)

3 Current Situation 3 Key Factors: Sanctuary Proximity Capability/Technology As of February 2011, 685 mariners aboard 30 ships were being held for ransom

4 2010 Piracy and Armed Robbery Statistics 4 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

5 2010 Piracy and Armed Robbery Statistics 5

6 Trends in Piracy off the Horn of Africa 6 GAO analysis of International Maritime Bureau Hostages taken 2007 – – – 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

7 Economic Costs of Piracy 7 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 $177 million Payments in $238 million Average payment in $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

8 U.S. Legal and Policy Framework 8 - 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

9 U.S. Legal and Policy Framework 9 U.S. Piracy Policy (Addendum to the National Strategy for Maritime Security), 2007 Executive Order (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 Supported by Port Security Advisories (PSA) o PSA 2-09 (Rev. 3): Non-SSI version of MARSEC Directive 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 (Rev. 1): Supplementary Guidance on Antipiracy Defensive Measures for U.S. flagged vessels operating in High Risk Waters

10 International Response 10 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

11 Maritime Operational Threat Response (MOTR) 11 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)


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