The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has just released its global piracy report covering the period 1 January through 30 September 2012. Somali pirate attacks cover an area that includes the Gulf of Aden, southern Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and off Somalia, Yemen, Oman, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, and the Maldives.
The number of ships attacked by Somali pirates fell during the first nine months of 2012 to its lowest level since 2009 according to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC). In the first nine months of 2012, there were 70 Somali attacks compared with 199 for the corresponding period in 2011. From July to September, just one ship reported an attempted attack by Somali pirates, compared with 36 incidents in the same three months last year.
IMB believes policing and interventions by international navies are deterring pirates along with ships' use of best management practices including the use of armed guards and other onboard security measures.
As of 30 September 2012, suspected Somali pirates were holding 11 vessels for ransom with 167 crew members as hostages onboard. In addition, 21 kidnapped crew members are being held on land.
You can obtain a free copy of both the IMB piracy report for 2011 and the one for the first nine months of 2012 by clicking here.