Cost of Somali Piracy Slumps as Attacks Fall

Posted by Eric Haun
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
MV Royal Grace following its release from Somali Pirates in March 2013. (Photo: EU Naval Force)

The cost of Somali piracy to the global economy fell by almost half last year as attacks slumped, but piracy in West Africa was on the rise, an annual security report said on Wednesday.

The Oceans beyond Piracy report put the total cost of Somali piracy - by far the largest single threat to international shipping in recent years - at only $3.2 billion in 2013.

There were still at least 50 hostages in Somali captivity in desperate conditions, held on average for most three years each, the report said.

Gauging the level of threats in the Gulf of Guinea was difficult because of incomplete reporting but it was clear that rising numbers of seafarers were being kidnapped, it said.

At the height of Somali pirate attacks in 2011, up to a dozen or more merchant ships were being held captive at any one time, often for multimillion dollar ransoms.

Since then, growing use of private security details and the presence of international warships have largely prevented successful attacks. No large vessels were seized in 2013.

"The efforts of the international community and the shipping industry have considerably reduced the threat of Somali piracy," says Jens Madsen, one of the report sources. "But we have yet to achieve the goal of ... zero vessels captured and zero hostages held."

Only a tiny proportion of the money spent on Somali piracy was being used for permanent solutions onshore, the pirates' launching pad for attacks on passing ships, the report said.

The lost majority of the funds was used for private security contractors and insurance premiums.

Piracy Different in West Africa

Shipping companies, which in the past used larger and more costly teams and took expensive steps such as rerouting vessels and traveling at greater speed, were increasingly turning to smaller groups of armed personnel, the report said.

Somali pirates were increasingly attacking local fishermen and smaller craft, often hoping to use their vessels to attack larger ships.

In West Africa, tackling the attacks was complicated by the lack of regional cooperation and information sharing, it said.

"Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is fundamentally different (from) events taking place in the Indian Ocean," said Madsen.

"We observe... a high degree of violence in this region," he said. "The constantly evolving tactics of West African piracy make it extremely difficult to isolate it from other elements of organised crime."

(Reporting by Peter Apps; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

Maritime Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

Indian Ports to Set Sail on Corporatization

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in Union Budget 2015 that government-run ports in India will be encouraged to corporatize and become companies under the Companies Act.

Zvezda Shipyard Comes Up Despite Western Sanctions

German and Finnish partners continue to build Russia’s Far Eastern “Zvezda” shipyard for Arctic oil exploration ships, in spite of Western sanctions, reports Sputnik.

ADB Okays $30mln for Pak LNG Terminal

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million project loan to Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited, a special purpose company which will build Pakistan’s

News

Spanish Boat Wins Leg of Ocean Race

Spanish boat Mapfre has claimed victory in the Auckland leg of the of the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race from Sanya, China, to Auckland.   The Alicante-based

China's Maritime Advances Worry US

The Director of U.S. National Intelligence, James Clapper, has expressed his concern at the progress of China in maritime zones it shares with its neighbors, accused

British Queen to Name New Ship

Queen Elizabeth II will christen P&O Cruises’ new flagship Britannia in Southampton, England, on March 10. She will be accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Maritime Safety

Sri Lanka Says No to Docking of Chinese Submarines

Sri Lanka declared that it will not allow Chinese submarines to dock in its waters as part of a new policy barring hosting of foreign submarines.   Sri Lanka's

Container Ship Runs Aground at Fremantle Port

A ship that ran aground at Fremantle Port early Saturday has been refloated. The 62,000-tonne Denmark-registered container ship Maersk Garonne became stuck in soft sand about 500m off South Mole.

Drowning at Castaway Cay

Police are investigating the apparent drowning of an American cruise ship passenger off at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas - Castaway Cay in the Abacos.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2187 sec (5 req/sec)