While the Crew of La Ponant has returned safely to their countries of origin it's time to catch up on pirate news last week:
Eclipsed by news of La Ponant, a different, Australian crew was ransomed last week, the Sea Shepard anti-seal-hunting vessel's
Surrounded by media and shipmates of the seized Farley Mowat anti-sealing vessel, U.S.-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society head Paul Watson described to reporters outside a Sydney courthouse Monday, the similarities between the arrests of two senior crew members and a pirate tale.The crew of the Farley Mowat face charges under Australia's Federal Fisheries act for approaching a seal-fishing vessel too closely without authorization as well as several individual accounts of obstruction.
“We don’t regard it as bail, we regard it as ransom. It’s a pirate action. They boarded our vessel on the high seas at gunpoint. They stole all of our property, our cameras,” Watson said before unloading a sack filled with $10,000 in Canadian toonies and bills, which he referred as “doubloons” or pirate gold.
The Malacca strait has long been a hotbed of pirate activity, but in the Pirate Whack-a-Mole on the High Seas (thanks you New York Times for the headline, you are truly the paper of record =P), but according to a Malaysian Defense official, there wasn't a single attack in 2007.
"From January to late December 2007, we recorded zero percent pirate attacks in the Malacca Straits and also recorded a reduction in pirate attacks in the waterways of Sabah and Sarawak (on Borneo Island)," Bashirabu Bakar told Bernama news agency.One can easily see how a major security presence in one area deflects piracy to other, easier to pirate areas, and that's what's happened here. Similarly, it was reported a few months ago that certain areas of the Somalian Coast where joint military efforts have been protecting shipping have led to declines in piracy there.
Of course, International piracy continues with Nigeria and Somalia being the countries where the most attacks occurred according to the International Maritime Bureau.
Nigeria now ranks as the number one hot spot in the world this quarter, overtaking Indonesia for the first time in 16 years, the IMB said.Of course, If you've been reading this blog, you know that Nigeria isn't taking its new status sitting down, just last week they sent another group of troops to help in the Nimassa area.
"Vessels have been fired upon and crew injured as a result. Many of the attacks are concentrated off Lagos," it said.
Indonesia, which fell to third spot, saw just four attacks in the first quarter compared with nine previously.
Also, I stumbled upon this blog in my piratey travels this week, it's fascinating.