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Somalia: Piracy

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 30 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of trends in the level of threat to shipping from pirates off Somalia in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (282665)

I have been asked to reply.

Although piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia continues to be a problem, various international military operations established in the region have had success in countering it.

The main trend in the level of threat to shipping off Somalia in the last 12 months is based upon the annual monsoon pattern, when there is a marked deterioration of sea conditions between June to September and December to March and a corresponding drop in the number of piracy attacks.

The authority on piracy off Somalia is the Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa) (MSC(HOA)) and the Coordination Centre of the EU Naval Force. MSC(HOA) make up-to-date advice and guidance to seafarers available on their website