The maritime security intelligence company Risk Intelligence has reduced its Horn of Africa High Risk Area for the first time since 2007. The reduction of the High Risk Area is done to reflect the current decline of Somali pirate activity.
“When Somali piracy expanded it was easy enough. High risk areas were drawn up, further and further from the coast. But with the reduction in the frequency of attacks, we assessed that now was the time to start taking the consequences of that and reduce the area in an intelligent way”, says Nis Leerskov Mathiesen, Chief Analyst in Risk Intelligence.
Risk Intelligence’s analysts have looked at all the areas of the wider Horn of Africa region and analysed in each of them, in order to assess where the High Risk Area should be reduced and where it should be preserved. Pirate, merchant marine and navy activity was all factored in.
“The revision is not based only on the declining numbers of attacks that are apparent to all. But it is rooted in the experience and expertise of the Risk Intelligence team of analysts and consultants and draws on statistical incident information, intelligence from local sources and systematic forecasting of the short and medium term”, says Nis Leerskov Mathiesen.
The most substantial change in the MaRisk Horn of Africa High Risk Area is that it now has its eastern border from Diu Head in India to Minicoy Island. This excludes a stretch of the Indian coast.
The Risk Intelligence High Risk Area is drawn up in the online maritime threat monitor MaRisk (www.marisk.dk) and is not similar to the official High Risk Area designated in the Best Management Practices (BMP). The MaRisk High Risk Area is identifies a “substantial higher risk of attacks”. This means that it does not guarantee that there is no risk outside the area.
“It is very important to understand that although the likelihood of an attack might be significantly lower outside the designated High Risk Area, the chances of pirate success and the outcome of both failed and successful attacks are still the same”, says Nis Leerskov Mathiesen.
The High Risk Area and the current threats that have defined it are described in the latest issue of the series of maritime security reports Strategic Insights (www.strategicinsights.eu).
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Risk Intelligence concluded a successful SMM exhibition in Hamburg Friday 7 September 2012, where we managed to meet both a large selection of our German clients as well as companies which showed interest in our services.
Also, importantly, the week gave a good opportunity to meet with business partners and discuss future developments.
Stand 101 in Hall B8
Risk Intelligence is proud to announce that we will be having a stand at the international shipping exhibition SMM in Hamburg 4-7 September 2012.
The company will be presenting its products and services from stand 101 in the hall B8 Maritime Security & Defence. We are looking forward to launch new products and present important new developments in Risk Intelligence.
We are hoping to meet many new people as well as our existing clients during the week in Hamburg.
Visit the SMM Hamburg webpage
Every summer shipping companies are warned about large swarms of pirate boats off the Horn of Africa. The warnings are based on reports from ships in the area and put out by security companies and governments. The only problem is that pirate swarms do not exist, according to the Danish intelligence company Risk Intelligence.
“We have monitored these rather panicky reports since at least 2008, when a European Naval vessel reported swarms of up to 20 pirate skiffs. But it is a misunderstanding every year. The phenomenon can be understood and described as something else every time it is reported” says Nis Leerskov Mathiesen, Chief Analyst with Risk Intelligence.
The swarm attack reports always start coming out when the monsoon brings rough weather to large swaths of the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. This means that small boat traffic moves to more sheltered waters, most significantly fishermen and smugglers. Both these groups use small boats similar to those of the pirates. And both groups manoeuvre in ways that can frighten a master of a merchant vessel. Fishermen will move at high speed towards merchant vessels, either to protect their nets or to benefit from the wake and wash of a ship. Smugglers are often “jumping” from ship to ship at high speed to stay hidden from radar surveillance. Pirates are sometimes present in the area as well. They hide in larger groups of boats. They then attack and lookouts confuse background traffic with pirate accomplices.
“We have never seen any proof that an attack is carried out by more than a small handful of skiffs. So the repeating reports of 10 and 20 strong “swarms” is a question of wrong observation in the heat of the battle and short-sighted analysis by those who put out the warnings. The effect is fear mongering”, says Nis Leerskov Mathiesen.
Risk Intelligence is a Danish-based company that specialises in maritime security intelligence in support of shipping companies, navies and maritime organisations. You can read Risk Intelligence’s background briefing on Swarm Attacks on the right hand side of page.
Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent KCB, CBE, formerly commander-in-chief Royal Navy and current director of Orchard Leadership, has joined Risk Intelligence as a Strategic Advisor.
Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent commanded a range of warships including the aircraft carrier Invincible in the British Royal Navy after achieving a Master’s Degree at Cambridge University, and concluded his career as full Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet. He was knighted in 2004. He is a graduate of the Greenwich Joint Services Defence College and an Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College Cambridge.
CEO of Risk Intelligence Hans Tino Hansen comments “I am very pleased with having Sir James onboard as Strategic Advisor. His experience in leadership and operational background will provide an important contribution to the strategic development of the company. An important role will be to chair the Advisory Board”.
Sir James Burnell-Nugent comments “I am very pleased to be able to contribute to the exciting development of Risk Intelligence at a time of increasing global concerns with maritime security”.
Risk Intelligence is a security intelligence company providing intelligence products and intelligence-based advisory services to mainly shipping, oil & gas, offshore and other maritime-related companies as well as governmental clients. Today, Risk Intelligence supports the secure operation of more than 12% of the World shipping fleet as well as large parts of offshore operations globally.
If you require additional information, please contact the below or visit www.riskintelligence.eu
Any questions should be directed to:
Hans Tino Hansen Managing Director & CEO +45 70 26 62 30
Risk Intelligence releases its annual analysis and forecast of the maritime security situation in Nigeria.
Nigerian piracy has not declined in 2011; it has merely moved elsewhere, according to analysis by the Denmark-based maritime security intelligence company Risk Intelligence.
For 2011, Risk Intelligence has recorded 70 Nigeria-related attacks against offshore oil & gas and against maritime targets – up from 58 attacks recorded for 2010. Nigerian criminals began to focus on product tankers in December 2010, when they attacked the Italian tanker VALLE DI CORDOBA off Cotonou. In 2011, they have attacked 30 tankers off Lagos, Lomé, and Cotonou and two more off the Niger Delta.
See the right hand side for the assessment.