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By Leslie Esher, Stacey Hall, Eva Regnier, Paul J. Sánchez, James A. Hansen and Dashi Singham


Recent years have seen an upsurge in piracy, particularly off the Horn of Africa. Piracy differs from other asymmetric threats, such as terrorism, in that it is economically motivated. Pirates operating off East Africa have threatened maritime safety and cost commercial shipping billions of dollars paid in ransom. Piracy in this region is conducted from small boats which can only survive for a few days away from their base of operations, have limited survival in severe weather, and cannot perform boarding operations in high wind or sea state conditions. In this study we use agent models and statistical design of experiments to gain insight into how meteorological and oceanographic forecasts can used to dynamically predict relative risks for commercial shipping.

Year: 2014
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