MEDITERRANEAN Shipping chairman Gianluigi Aponte has called for a warship to be stationed close to each pirate mother vessel and to take immediate action should any skiffs be launched.
By deploying their limited resources that way, the naval forces should be able to “completely kill piracy”, said Mr Aponte. “That would be the end of the story.”
Rather than try to patrol the whole of the Indian Ocean as piracy attacks spread far from the Somali coast, navy ships would have a far greater success rate if they shadowed known mother vessels, according to Mr Aponte who has publicly criticised the coalition forces for failing to adequately protect merchant ships from hijackings. A containership on charter to the line, the 1,700 teu MSC Panama, was seized late last year.
Since then, Mr Aponte has pressed for the navies operating in the region to provide secure corridors across the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, but was told by senior military personnel that there were not enough warships available to offer that level of protection.
By switching the focus of military attention to the motherships themselves, “the pirates will be completely paralysed”, Mr Aponte told Lloyd’s List.