Coast Guard Contributes to Counter-piracy Mission
“Piracy goes back many, many years — many thousands of years, actually — about the time that man started first taking onto the water in ships,” Michel said. “Piracy is essentially an act of violence or depredation conducted on the high seas from one vessel to another vessel for private ends. … That’s the definition of piracy that’s captured in both the 1958 Convention on the High Seas, of which the United States is a party, as well as the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.”
Recent incidents of piracy off the coast of Africa have raised the awareness of the issue on a global level. However, Michel described the Coast Guard’s longstanding efforts to combat acts of piracy internationally. “Modern piracy really, at least in my world of work, has been focused primarily in Southeast Asia, in the South China Sea and in the Straits of Malacca.”
The Coast Guard is an active member of the multinational Combined Task Force 151 conducting counter-piracy missions around the Gulf of Aden, Giglio said.