IMB’s annual global piracy report shows more than 300 people were taken hostage at sea last year and 21 were injured, nearly all with guns or knives. A total of 12 vessels were hijacked, 202 were boarded, 22 were fired upon and a further 28 reported attempted attacks. Nigerian pirates were particularly violent, killing one crew member, and kidnapping 36 people to hold onshore for ransom.
“The single biggest reason for the drop in worldwide piracy is the decrease in Somali piracy off the coast of East Africa,” said Captain Pottengal Mukundan, director of IMB, whose Piracy Reporting Center has monitored world piracy since 1991. IMB says Somali pirates have been deterred by a combination of factors, including the key role of international navies, the hardening of vessels and other recommendations in the shipping industry’s Best Management Practices, the use of private armed security teams and the stabilizing influence of Somalia’s central government.
“It is imperative to continue combined international efforts to tackle Somali piracy. Any complacency at this stage could re-kindle pirate activity,” warned Captain Mukundan.
Read more on ICC’s website.
Staff contact: Jonathan Huneke