Piracy attacks across the world reached a five-year low in 2012, due in part to decreasing Somali piracy, the International Maritime Bureau (IBM) said in a report released Wednesday (January 16th).
The IMB global piracy report said 297 ships were attacked in 2012, compared to 439 in 2011. Waters off the coasts of East and West Africa still remain the most dangerous, however, with 150 attacks last year, more than half the world's total.
"IMB's piracy figures show a welcome reduction in hijackings and attacks to ships. But crews must remain vigilant, particularly in the highly dangerous waters off East and West Africa," said IMB director Captain Pottengal Mukundan.
Somalia and the Gulf of Aden have seen a dramatic decrease in piracy attacks, dropping from 237 in 2011 to 75 in 2012, with hijackings also reduced by half, falling from 28 in 2011 to 14 in 2012.
"The continued presence of the navies is vital to ensuring that Somali piracy remains low," Mukundan said. "This progress could easily be reversed if naval vessels were withdrawn from the area."
The IMB is an arm of the International Chamber of Commerce and has been monitoring global piracy since 1991.