Piracy attacks down to six-year low
Reported pirate attacks worldwide dropped to a six-year low 276 incidents in 2005, compared with 329 in 2004, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) of the International Chamber of Commerce reported.
The bureau said no seafarers were killed in acts of piracy last year although 12 remain missing.
The IMB reported an increase of pirate activity in Iraq, with 10 attacks in 2005 compared to none in 2004.
Increased attacks in Somalia, with 35 reported attacks in 2005 compared to two in 2004, have lifted the West African country to number two, after Indonesia, in the table of world piracy risk prone areas. Significant rises were also recorded in Tanzania and Vietnam.
Attacks in Indonesia, which account for nearly 30 percent of all incidents, dropped to 79 in 2005 from 94 in 2004. Attacks in the Malacca Straits fell from 38 in 2004 to 12 attacks in 2005. Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti, Nigeria and Guinea also all recorded a fall in the number of reported piracy and armed robbery attacks.
“The drop in the number of reported attacks last year should be seen as a positive sign,” said Capt. Pottengal Mukundan, IMB director. “Some countries are becoming more proactive in their approach to dealing with piracy and armed robbery against ships.”