Somali pirate activity continues at a high level. The New Year opened with the hijacking on the afternoon of January 1 2011 of the MV Blida. approximately 150 nautical miles South East of the port of Salalah, Oman.
NATO recorded some 14 piracy alerts in the first three days of the year (see map below), while EU Navfor says there are now 28 vessels and 654 hostages being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
The latest addition to that tally, the Blida, is Algerian flagged and owned. The vessel was on her way to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from Salalah in Oman at the time of the attack. No further details of the attack are known at this stage. MV Blida has a crew of 27 (Algerian, Ukrainian and Filippino) and is carrying a cargo of clinker. MV BLIDA was registered with MSC(HOA) but had not reported to UKMTO.