Somali Piracy Down, But Not Out
International Maritime Bureau reported that piracy is at a six year low, but maritime security company GoAGT said now it is not the time to lose focus on security, especially with a serious attack on two ships occurring just a month ago.
Nick Davis, CEO of the company, said, “While the report should be welcomed, this is certainly not the time to consign Somali piracy to history. Too many factors that encouraged its initial development remain in place. Any one of a relatively small number of catalysts could see Somali pirates return in force.”
He added, “Just over a month ago two ships were attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden. Both had armed security teams on board but had they not then at least one would have been hijacked.”
Nick Davis said that until the Somali Government had proper security and governance in place it was imperative that ships transiting the area had armed security teams on board because history would repeat itself.
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 fired upon and a further 28 reported attempted attacks.
Fifteen incidents attributed to Somali pirates in 2013 included two hijacked vessels, both of which were released within a day as a result of naval actions. A further eight vessels were fired upon.
Nigerian pirates were particularly violent, killing one crewmember and kidnapping 36 people to hold onshore for ransom.