Monday, March 29, 2010

2009 Worldwide piracy fugures surpass 400

A total of 406 incidents of piracy and armed robbery have been reported in the 2009 annual piracy report issued by the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC).

The total number of incidents attributed to the Somali pirates stands at 217 with 47 vessels hijacked and 867 crew members taken hostage. Somalia accounts for more than half of the 2009 figures, with the attacks continuing to remain opportunistic in nature.

2009 has however seen a significant shift in the area of attacks off Somalia. While the 2008 attacks were predominantly focused in the Gulf of Aden, 2009 has witnessed more vessels also being targeted along the east coast of Somalia. Since October increased activity has been observed in the Indian Ocean with 33 incidents reported, including 13 hijackings. Thirteen of these last quarter incidents occurred east of the recommended east of 60° east – including four hijacked vessels. Many of these attacks have occurred at distances of approximately 1000 nautical miles off Mogadishu.

Some analysts argue about the other side of the story : Somalia piracy began in response to illegal fishing and toxic dumping by Western ships off Somali Coast ('The truth behind the Somali pirate situation' by Democracy Now videos #1 / #2 )

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