|12/27/09. A Sailor aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin conducts target practice in the Gulf of Aden. Flickr/U.S. Navy. Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Edgington/Released|
It documented that more than 60 percent of the attacks in the world were carried out by Somali pirates, a majority of them in the Arabian Sea.
As of the end of June 2011, Somali pirates were holding 20 vessels and 420 crew. Attacks on oil and chemical tankers increased by 36 percent during the first six months of 2011 and increasingly involved the use of automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade launchers. This problem has spread to the water off Benin, where non-Somali pirates are active.
In the past six months, Somali pirates attacked more vessels than ever before and they are taking higher risks. Many of the attacks have been east and northeast of the Gulf of Aden. There were 163 attacks in the first six months of 2011, up from 100 in the first six months of 2010, but the pirates managed to capture fewer ships — 21 this year, versus 27 during the same period in 2010.
This decrease is due to better preventive measures taken by individual ship owners and disruption of piracy by the international naval force in the region.