Despite some improvement in the security of the maritime industry, cases of piracy have put the shipping interests of the UK at jeopardy. Having said that, there has been a continued need to respond to piracy. In the 18th century heavily armed warships were sent to the favorite hunting grounds of the pirates in order to secure maritime routes and safeguard the stability of the economy. However, the advancement in technology has led to cutting edge technology in combating piracy.
Ways of Combating Piracy
First, technology that can show the exact location of a a vessel should be used. In addition to that, a layered and structured defense mechanism is essential in securing the vessels. Such a technology increases awareness more so in vulnerable ports and high risk areas. There are statistics and information of the various piracy incidences all over the world, their impact, and how they were planned and executed.
Second, the maritime industry can make use of the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD). Despite its failure on November 28, 2008, there is no reason why the technology should not be used. A security team effectively installed and successfully used the technology in Poole, Dorset, England. In the case, pirates who were attempting to attack a chemical tanker were successfully repelled. One case of failure should not mean that the technology is discarded.
Third, the Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System (V-MADS), offers optimal protection against small fire arms and rocket propelled grenades. If well used, it has the ability to detect such arms from a distance of 700 yards. The major disadvantage with this technology is that it can be affected by sea spray or fog. In addition to that, the technology can be blocked using a wood or a metal screen thereby affecting such security measures.
Fourth, Laser and Led devices have proven effective in blinding an attacker or inducing nausea. This technology is commonly used by the military as well as the law enforcement agencies.However, its disadvantage is that when used at a very close range, it can cause permanent blindness. In addition to that, the technology does not guarantee that it has the ability to blind all the pirates. Consequently, such attackers can become more aggressive on the crew and may harm them.
Fifth, shipping companies have contemplated using force in order to increase their chance of success. The greatest determinant on the use of force is whether such an attempt will not be abortive and lead to the loss of the vessel, crew, and cargo. In other words, if they is a reasonable chance of success, one can use force. Moreover, the use of force is justified if all the channels of solving the stalemate have been exhausted. Generally, carrying out a counterattack is considered a gamble. It is not uncommon to find pirates who are ready to die rather than be subdued and arrested.
Lastly, governments should be at the forefront in funding anti piracy solutions. It should be noted that fighting piracy cannot be a one state solution. It should be noted that the sea is a shared resource by nature. By implication, risks and liabilities that come with the use of the sea should be responded to from a common approach. Furthermore, sharing of maritime intelligence between the various states and between the players in the maritime industry is paramount.
Effective anti piracy solutions requires collaboration with all the key players in the maritime industry in order to ensure a stable economy. The use of technology plays a crucial role in putting concrete measures that will effectively combat piracy. Overall, combating piracy is indispensable in order to secure the crew, passengers, and cargo, at the sea.