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Piracy & the Indian Monsoon

The Indian monsoon has been known and used by mariners for centuries; indeed in the age of sail it shaped the patterns of trade between China and Africa. Now the monsoon seasons are closely linked to piracy in the Indian Ocean and mariners would be well advised to renew their understanding of the phenomenon.

Pirate activity is clearly shaped by the monsoon, much as trade was shaped during the age of sail. This can be used to provide a ‘strategic’ assessment of risk. However, a word of caution, the actual day to day conditions are variable in time and over short distances and the pirates have an unsurpassed knowledge of their environment and consistently position themselves in areas of relatively low wind speed. To reduce the risk of attack we must match their knowledge of the environment and in the Indian Ocean that means understanding the monsoon.

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