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End of the golden era of piracy at sea

Staff writer ▼ | January 17, 2014
With 264 attacks recorded worldwide in 2013 piracy at sea has reached its lowest levels in six years. This is a 40% drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) revealed.
Nigeria sea pirates
Nigeria sea piratesWith 264 attacks recorded worldwide in 2013 piracy at sea has reached its lowest levels in six years. This is a 40% drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) revealed.


Just 15 incidents were reported off Somalia in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, and 237 in 2011. Piracy at sea has reached its lowest levels in six years, with a 40% drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011.

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 crewmember, and kidnapping 36 people to hold onshore for ransom.

The 15 incidents attributed to Somali pirates in 2013 include two hijacked vessels, both of which were released within a day as a result of naval actions. A further eight vessels were fired upon. These figures are the lowest since 2006, when 10 Somali attacks were recorded.

Meanwhile, West African piracy made up 19% of attacks worldwide last year. Nigerian pirates and armed robbers accounted for 31 of the region's 51 attacks, taking 49 people hostage and kidnapping 36, more than in any year since 2008.

Nigerian pirates ventured far into waters off Gabon, Ivory Coast and Togo, where they were linked with at least five of the region's seven reported vessel hijackings. Off the coast of Nigeria itself, two ships were hijacked, 13 were boarded and 13 fired upon.

Malaysian waters saw the hijacking of two product tankers with 27 crew taken hostage, resulting in the theft of ships' property and cargo.


 

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