Sea piracy drops to five-year low

Last Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 18:12

Moscow: The activity of sea pirates in international waters has subsided to the lowest level since 2008, according to a report by an international maritime watchdog.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), an arm of the International Chamber of Commerce, said 297 vessels were attacked by pirates last year, against 439 in 2011.

The IMB`s Piracy Reporting Centre also recorded 67 attempted attacks during the year.

A total of 585 people were taken hostage last year. Six people were killed and 32 injured by pirates.

Somalia and the Gulf of Aden remain the world`s most dangerous maritime route, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the world`s piracy incidents. A total of 75 ships were attacked last year.

The figure, however, is well below the 2011 figure of 237 attacks.

"The continued presence of the navies is vital to ensuring that Somali piracy remains low. This progress could be easily reversed if naval vessels were withdrawn from the area," bureau chief Capt. Pottengal Mukundan said.

Pirate activity, however, intensified off the coast of Nigeria, where 58 ships were attacked and 207 crew members taken hostage.

IANS



First Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 18:12

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