It's the most common sense thing I have read in quite some time.
Maybe ships need to bring back the "crows nest" for look-outs.
The Anti-Pirate Manual
I have organized and conducted anti-piracy operations in the Strait of Molucca, between Malaysia and Indonesia. We found that the best tactic was to let the pirates know you were alert and watching for them. I was working with oil rigs being towed at 5 knots, a much easier target than a tanker or a freighter.
Guns are frankly unnecessary, and add risk of fire, explosion and accidental shooting. It will also make the pirates more likely to use deadly force.
Pirates have difficulty boarding larger vessels under way, so they rely on surprise. Usually, the first that a crew knows that there are pirates on board is when they show up in the bridge. Constant deck watches, bright spotlights, radar surveillance, and fire hoses streaming water over the side are all tools that have proven very effective. Guns are frankly unnecessary, and add risk of fire, explosion and accidental shooting. It will also make the pirates more likely to use deadly force — right now they know that most commercial vessels are unarmed, and to change that presumption will have unintended consequences.
Maritime law requires that ships under way do so under running lights only — they cannot light up the decks unless they are at anchor. This law favors the pirates, as it makes it easier for them to hide. A change or suspension of this law might be something to consider.
There is a vast body of recent experience dealing with pirates. What is happening off of Somalia is not new — the Bay of Bengal, Strait of Molucca, Singapore Strait and South China Sea have been piracy hot spots for many years. The regional governments have had great success against pirates by coordinating military response.
Commercial and private vessels should stick to anti-piracy measures (passive measures designed to deter attack) while leaving the counter-piracy (seek and destroy) operations to the various navies of the world.
— Ross Johnson