Saturday, November 6, 2010

Current Hijack Situation

As Reported HERE


Today, 05. November 2010, 22h00 UTC, at least 30 foreign vessels plus one barge are kept in Somali hands against the will of their owners, while at least 551 hostages or captives - including an elderly British yachting couple and the 5 new hostages from Somaliland - suffer to be released. 
Request the Somali Marine & Coastal Monitor from ECOTERRA Intl. for background info and see the 
updated map of the PIRACY COASTS OF SOMALIA. 
The world and the navies don't get it: Do they not realize that long after Somalia was neglected and only after the navies appeared and interfered at the Horn of Africa the real piracy developed and surged ? Now the situation has reached a new all-time high: Over 550 people held captive. The world holds Somalia hostage and the Somali pirates the world.


Reports from the boundary between Kenya and Tanzania indicated earlier that the 46,955 dwt chemical- and oil-products tanker MT TORM REPUBLICAN had been attacked today. Now it is said, but officially not yet confirmed, that the vessel has been sea-jacked and is already commandeered towards Somalia.
The vessel belongs to TORM A/S in Hellerup, Denmark but is managed by TORM SHIPPING INDIA PVT LTD in Andheri-Kur, India. The crew of about 22 is said to be all of Indian nationality.

... and now it is getting really crazy
More Fishing Vessels Netted in Somalia (ecop-marine/newsweek)
Somalis Seize Yemeni Minister's Fishing Boat, Another Iranian Vessels Held and Thai Bonded Labour Ship Taken and then Sunk
Identity of seized Thai Fishing Vessel  Found But Vessel Downed !!!!The identity of the fishing vessel captured in the Gulf of Aden on 03. November (we reported), whose name so far had been withheld for unknown reasons by NATO and the ICC/IMB/PRC, while EU NAVFOR had not mentioned it at all, could be established as FV SIRICHAI NAVA (aka SIRICHAINAWA) 11 - one of the infamous Sirichai-Fleet vessels from Thailand. 
The meanwhile Yemen-registered Thai fishing vessel Sirichai Nava 11, was captured on Tuesday while sailing 15 nautical miles (about 28 kilometres) off the coast of Yemen.The Yemeni Coastguard engaged the captured vessel FV SIRICHAINAVA 11 on 03. November 2010 and shots were exchanged. Thereafter the Yemeni Coastguard stopped the attack and it was presumed that the vessel would now be used as piracy-launch.
Thai navy personnel, who are joining the international effort to crack down on Somali pirates, launched a search for the fishing vessel after learning of the hijacking. 
HTMS Pattani arrived in the attack area on Wednesday about 7am, but did not see the Thai vessel, the Bakok Post reports.
The Thai navy operations used a helicopter to hunt for the ship but failed to locate it. It had reportedly been taken towards the Somali coast. 
The officers later went back to the spot where the ship was hijacked and found 23 victims floating in the sea. 
One crew member said the vessel was attacked by 10 Somali pirates. 
After the seizure, two of the pirates left on their speedboat while eight others took control of the Thai boat and forced it to sail towards the Somali coast. 
About 1am on Wednesday, the trawler was shot at by a so far unidentified vessel and sunk. 
The crewmen were left drifting in the sea until they were rescued by the Thai patrol ship. They did not know what happened to the eight pirates.
This case requires a full investigation, especially who blew the vessel out of the waters and questions also must be asked why the navies didn't report even the name of the vessel right from the start. In the moment the EU NAVFOR command centre in UK's Nortwood by keeping the figures low persistently hides - against better knowledge - around one dozen vessels sea-jacked in Somalia from the eyes of the public and regularly gives out false reports to the media. 
Two Thai navy ships - HTMS Pattani and HTMS Similan - with 351 sailors and 20 special warfare troops aboard, were sent in September to help police the shipping lanes off Somalia. Last year up to 32 attacks on Thai ships were reported and crews taken hostage.

One of the Thai company's other vessels, called FV EKAWANAT NAVA 5, was was two years ago - in November 2008 -  blown out of the water by the Indian navy, mistaking it for a pirate vessel and not adhering to warnings which had been sent to all navies saying that the ship was commandeered by Somalis with the crew being held captive on board. All of the 15 crew, except one sailor who later served as witness, were killed in the incident due to the wrongful attack by the Indian naval soldiers on INS TANBAR. Thailand back then officially complained to India on the friendly-fire killings.. Thailand's Sirichai Fisheries so far has not fully compensated the families of the killed seamen, but it says it supports the U.S.-based Marine Stewardship Council, one of the phony product-labelling outfits with no control whatsoever, and states it would practice environmentally friendly fishing. 
But NEWSWEEK has interviewed four past crewmen on Sirichai vessels and seen written complaints to a Cambodian human-rights group from three others. All claim to have endured treatment that fits the ILO's definition of forced labour. They say they were trafficked into Thailand on tourist visas, forced to hand over their passports and compelled to board a boat bound for Africa even though the recruiter promised them cannery jobs in Thailand. "We thought we were finished," says Long Thorn, one of Sirichai's initial Cambodian recruits. "We didn't know how many years we were sold for. They lied to us."
Bonded Labour
The experience of forced labor offers shades of misery, as the stories of Long and his neighbor Chann Ham show. They were crewmates on a Sirichai voyage to Somalia in 2005. After the monthlong journey, they were assigned to separate fishing boats, each supplied every two months by a "mother ship" from Thailand. Long repaired nets, sorted fish and cleaned catches of tuna, shark and octopus, sleeping just four hours a day during peak times. After 27 months, he was re- turned home and paid $155 per month, less than the $190 he was promised, but enough to double the size of his family home and by a slick red motor scooter. Chann, racked by constant seasickness, tried to stow away on the mother ship but was forced back aboard his vessel by a Somali guard who, he claims, fired several live rounds between his legs. Ten months later Chann was shipped home and paid less than $500, or about $1.60 per day— enough only to buy a cow, and his father's disapproval. "The people who stayed had a lot of money when they came back, but [my son] couldn't stay," says Chann's father. "I don't know who to blame for this."
Absent clearly enforceable global rules, it is easy to pass the blame around. Sirichai's general manager, Wiriya Sirichai- Ekawat, admits there have been troubles with Cambodian recruits, but he blames labor brokers who were paid by Sirichai for their services in 2005 but were "not our people." Asked if the company's treatment of foreign employees amounted to slavery, he said: "We never do that." In an e-mail, the Thai company's managing director, Wicharn Sirichai-Ekawat, says Sirichai has only one policy: "To follow the law." He says Sirichai is the only Thai fishing company that does not use illegal labor. Chuop Narath, deputy director of employment and manpower in Cambodia's Ministry of Labor, says Sirichai's recruitment practices are illegal.
The risks won't deter hungry young men like Cambodian Tuon Sina, a 22-year-old newlywed with an infant child to feed. Last fall he left his ancestral village for Thailand and boarded a fishing boat for Somalia. He had heard of past troubles, but he'd also seen older neighbors return rich after working abroad and wanted "to follow their example." His mother's protests went unheeded. "I tried to stop him but I could not," she says. "It's a risky adventure for money."
There's a good chance you or your pets have eaten fish caught by Sirichai and similar operations, though in the fishing industry the supply trail is particularly murky. One of Sirichai's main buyers is Kingfisher, which supplies leading Western brands and is controlled by Maruha Nichiro Holdings, Japan's leading seafood retailer. Maruha says it will cease doing business with Sirichai if the allegations of illegal recruiting practices are true. But many seafood wholesalers say it's hard to enforce labor rules on fishing boats. "We don't control the boats," says Joseph Kiang, a senior Kingfisher executive. "The fishing boats have their own regulation."
Sirichai seems to sail close to the wind with its fishing & recruiting, but there's more and more evidence of it being a fishing firm with some very iffy business practices (fishing in high-risk areas, recruiting the poor & desperate & ignoring employment laws, fishing where it isn't licensed, clandestine fishing deals e.g. with Puntland first and now Yemen, etc.), all issues which as such are regrettably common in the fishing industry.
Crime, Slavery And Robbery Turn Fish Into Blood-Products
Many of these industries are also involved in the false labelling of tuna cans and it could be established that canned tuna with high mercury content - e.g. caught of the Far-Eastern countries - is transshipped to be sold in Africa, because watchful governmental bodies in the US or Europe prohibit their import, while the tuna low in toxins from the African Indian Ocean coasts, which are mostly unprotected against illegal fishing fleets, is fetching top-prizes at auctions in Japan or is making much of the supplies of the tuna canning industry in Thailand or Taiwan for exports to those countries with higher consumer-standards, where again re-labelling with fancy environmental logos is practised to even fetch more profit.
Like in blood-diamonds or blood-timber the criminal natural resources exploitation of the oceans has reached proportions, involving highest offices and politicians even in Europe, which as a form of organized, international and transboundary crime appears to be insurmountable, especially because those tasked with the fight against criminal networks and corruption never look upstairs - like in the bloody and often deadly piracy games. The masterminds with the white collars sitting in acclimatized offices are not at all targeted, while their footsoldiers are killed to proof that "something is done". No, like in the fight against drugs - nothing tangible and effective is done at all.

Somalis Seize Yemeni Minister's Fishing Boat, Many Iranian Vessels Held and Thai Bonded Labour Ship Taken

Alleged Somali pirates seized a Yemeni fishing boat off the port of Balhaf in Shabow province, 14 nautical miles away from the coast, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on 04. November 2010 the Yemen Interior Ministry as saying.
The Yemeni police coastguard confirmed the capture of the boat named FV AL-JAZEERA 8 owned by the Yemeni ministry of fisheries.
The coastguard was continuing its efforts to retrieve the boat, a report says. The number of crew is not yet known and further reports are awaited.
Another Iranian Vessels Held by Somali gangs - But Not Reported by the Navies
Meanwhile sources with detailed knowledge from Iran stated after the release of one Iranian fishing vessel without ransom - but a reward for their captain for good assistance during piracy operations of other vessels, that at least one other Iranian fishing vessel is held by the Somali gangs. This now was confirmed by observers from Garacad that one Iranian fishing vessel is held there and the name is assumed to be FV AL-FAHAD.
How many Iranian vessels were seized over time for illegal fishing in Somali waters or how many were taken to use them as piracy launch or to press ransom could so far not clearly be established, because so far the Iranian government has never been really revealing these cases. And the navies do not report them either, because if one of the illegal fish-poachers would start to report on the other the whole system of industrialized overfish with their linbks into highest offices in all the countries involved would collapse. It is hoped that one state finally emerges as whistle-blower, which wants to be known in future as a role model and country operating clean and sustainable fisheries in every respect.
It is advised that the authorities in Iran place a similar ban on their vessel like the Indian government did and draw a line from Mahe to Salalah - not to be crossed by Iranian Fishing vessels, if they don't want to be seen a colluding or collaborating with the pirates of Somalia.

1 comment:

  1. If you read this , you wonder why companies aren't making using of more security companies / volunteers , to protect the ships . If this situation is not kerbed soon , the pirates will get better trained , equiped and will start using hijacked ships/boats in their attacks . With the hostages on board , they will be a very difficult target ...But what do I know ....