The Business Times

Piracy: both good and bad news

The situation is better off the Horn of Africa - but much worse off West Africa

Published Tue, Feb 11, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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THE good news is that the Somali pirates are having a hard time; the bad news is that their counterparts in West Africa are increasingly having a good time.

It certainly is encouraging that piracy at sea has reached its lowest levels in six years, according to recently released International Maritime Bureau (IMB) figures. There were 264 attacks recorded worldwide in 2013 - a 40 per cent drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011. Of these, 15 incidents were reported off Somalia in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, and 237 in 2011.

Last year, Somali pirates hijacked two vessels, both of which were released within a day as a result of naval actions but no vessels were taken into Somali territorial waters. A further eight vessels were fired upon. These figures are the lowest since 2006, when 10 Somali attacks were recorded.

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