Piracy remains a serious threat
Published: Jul 18, 2012
Global – The shipping industry needs to hold back its sigh of relief, despite experiencing a significant drop in the number of pirate attacks in the first half of this year.
According to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) global piracy report, 177 incidents have been reported so far, as compared to the 266 attacks in the same period last year.
The fall is attributed to the decrease in Somali piracy incidents from 163 to 69. Furthermore, only 13 vessels were hijacked, down from 21 last year.
"Somali pirate attacks cover a vast area, from the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman to the Arabian Sea and Somali Basin, threatening all shipping routes in the northwest Indian Ocean," Pottengal Mukundan, director of IMB said.
Despite the decline in Somali piracy cases, there has been an increase in number of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea by Nigerian pirates.
Thirty-two incidents were reported this year, compared to 25 in 2011. A high level of violence was also reported, with guns being used in at least 20 incidents. In Togo, five attacks occurred this year while there were none in 2011.
Additionally, 11 vessels and 218 crew members are still being held captive by Somali pirates, of which 44 are held in unknown locations and conditions as of 30 June.
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