Piracy at sea marks lowest in six yrs: IBM

UNB, Dhaka :
Piracy at sea has come down to its lowest level in six years, with 264 attacks recorded worldwide in 2013, a 40 percent drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011 registering a ‘low level’ armed robbery attacks in Bangladesh, too. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) revealed it on January 15, according to a message received here on Sunday.
Active patrolling by the Bangladesh Coast Guard has kept the number of incidents off Chittagong in Bangladesh at around 12 for the last few years, said the IMB report adding that attacks in India and Bangladesh have been described as ‘low-level and opportunistic’.
Just 15 incidents were reported off Somalia in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, and 237 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 single biggest reason for the drop in worldwide piracy is the decrease
in Somali piracy off the coast of East Africa,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB whose Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) has monitored world piracy since 1991.
The IMB says Somali pirates have been deterred by a combination of factors, including the key role of international navies, the hardening of vessels and other recommendations in the shipping industry’s Best Management Practices, the use of private armed security teams and the stabilising influence of Somalia’s central government. 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.

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