From Allied Command Operations:  Yesterday, the new, improved NATO Shipping Centre (NSC) website went live providing more comprehensive and timely information about pirate activity around the Horn of Africa for the shipping community.

Having received a briefing on the new website, the Commander of MC Northwood, Admiral Sir Trevor Soar KCB OBE said;  "Piracy is a serious threat for the shipping community and anything that can be done to deal with and overcome this issue is to be welcomed. The NATO Shipping Centre has listened to their users and responded to their needs with a new, more interactive and relevant website demonstrating that NATO and the shipping community are working together to tackle the scourge of piracy.”

Over the past few months, new products have been developed specifically for the website with the aim of ensuring that the shipping community has relevant information a click away. A new fully scalable map covering the Gulf of Aden, Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean plots the latest pirate attacks allowing vessels to avoid pirate hot spots.

Electronic forms which are easier to complete will allow information processing to be quicker and surveys will make the site more interactive. The layout of the site has been simplified, giving a more professional structure and layout. Contact details for the NSC remain the same. The web address is and you can call on +44(0)1923 956764. If you prefer you can email them on

The NSC has been in operation since 2001 and is the Alliance’s primary point of contact for commercial shipping. At present, its main focus in NATO’s counter piracy mission, Operation Ocean Shield. Since its inception, the NSC has participated in several NATO maritime operations such as Operation Active Endeavour (counter terrorism in the Mediterranean) and Operation Unified Protector off the coast of Libya.   (graphic: BBC/SomaliCare)