Shipping crews off the coast of Africa are using Britney Spears' music to deter pirates.

Security teams accompanying supertankers in the region blast out tracks including ...Baby One More Time and Oops! I Did It Again from huge on-deck speakers when they see Somali raiders approaching.

The unusual tactic is used when suspected pirates ignore initial instructions to move away from cargo ships, and Britney's songs were chosen as research showed she is the marine bandits' least favorite singer.

British Merchant Navy officer Rachel Owens, who guides ships through the dangerous seas, tells The Sun newspaper, "As soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney they move on as quickly as they can. Her songs were chosen by security accompanying tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most."

Owens added "These guys can't stand Western culture or music, making Britney's hits perfect."

Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, joked: "I'd imagine using Justin Bieber would be against the Geneva Convention. Pirates will go to any lengths to avoid or try to overcome the music, even using earplugs."