While working in GreenLine’s risk assessment tool, “iBench,” I noticed that vessels operating vicinity of Somalia and Gulf of Aden had started to notify the world via the Next Port of Call column of their onboard AIS transponders that they were carrying Armed Security Teams onboard. This raises a couple of questions; 1. Do they think the pirates monitor AIS? 2. Do they think it will matter if there is an armed team onboard? 3. Are these false declarations in the hopes it will keep the pirates away? See below for examples:
Regardless of intent, it probably does not hurt to use all resources available to thwart piracy and it will be interesting to learn if any of the ships declaring to have an Armed Team aboard are hijacked.