Friday, May 16, 2008

Pirates in the News! May 16,2008

So it's been a busy couple weeks for me, but finally, here I am to update you on pirateology's most recent events.An international fund that aids sustainable environment projects has committed $63 million to help preserve Southeast Asia's Coral Triangle from overfishing and climate change, the Asian Development Bank said Tuesday.

The United States has a proposal before the UN Security Council that would allow the US Navy as well as the navies of other countries to enter Somali waters in order to pursue pirate vessels. This comes in the wake of some extremely controversial remarks by higher ups in the Somali Government alleging that the United States is just playing policemen and that the US Sailors were callus and not taking their job seriously.

Contrary to a Somali official’s criticism about American forces, U.S. Navy officials said piracy off that country’s coast is of great concern to the United States and the international community.

Abdullahi Said Samatar, security affairs minister in Somalia’s semiautonomous Puntland region, was critical about the U.S. after Somali forces rescued a hijacked ship carrying food to the impoverished nation.

The ship, called the al-Khaleej, originated in Dubai and was seized by pirates on April 22. Somalians rescued the vessel and arrested seven suspects, who were sentenced Monday to life in prison, The Associated Press reported. Three other suspects were wounded in the rescue.

“It is sad that the American forces off the coast of Somalia are here for fun and are not combating the pirates,” Samatar said afterward.

Without commenting directly on Samatar’s statement, Navy officials said they have put many resources into combating the problem.

Pirate attack forces are slowing oil drilling off Somalia.

Spain's Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero deliberately avoided confirming whether or not a ransom payment had been made to secure the safe release of the 26 crew of the 'Playa de Bakio' tuna fishing boat seized by pirates on Sunday, April 20th. Which is strange because it seems de rigour to pay ransom, France did it, Russians do it, Private Companies do it.
The boat and its crew were released unharmed and arrived in Seychelle Islands earlier this morning, prior to being repatriated.

It was later released that the Spanish government HAD paid a ransom.

Heavily Armed Pirates attacked Thai and South Korean ships near Malaysia and in the Gulf of Aden respectively. And a ship was attacked in the Malacca Strait on May 10.

Greenpeace is busily releasing information about Tuna Pirates. Overfishing being one of the major causes of Oceanic Environmental Decline.
Greenpeace exposed an illegal tuna purse seiner, the Queen Evelyn 168, in a pocket of international waters between Papua New Guinea and the Federated States of Micronesia. This Philippines-flagged vessel was at the site of a transfer of tuna between her sister vessel and a refrigerated mothership, the Kenken 888. It is likely that a transfer of fish at sea involving an illegal vessel was about to occur, but the arrival of Greenpeace prevented it from taking place as the vessels immediately separated and fled. "Transfers of fish at sea are well know to be facilitating pirate fishing around the world now we also have the proof of this in the Pacific. It is unacceptable that this is still allowed to continue", said Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Lagi Toribau on board the Esperanza. "The pockets of international waters between Pacific island countries are especially prone to pirate activities and should be closed down to all fishing. Transfers of fish should only be allowed to happen in port so they can be monitored properly"

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