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January 22nd, 2014

Maritime Piracy Drops to 6 Year Low in 2013

The International Maritime Bureau reports that piracy fell to a six-year low in 2013. The drop was attributed in large part to stricter crackdown on pirates off Somalia.

There were 264 attacks reported around the globe last year, a 40 percent drop from 2011, when Somali piracy attacks peaked. There were only 15 reported piracy incidents off Somalia in 2013.

Among the measures used to deter attacks were armed guards on board ships, increased international naval patrols and more stabilization in the Somali government.

While piracy has dropped off Somalia’s coast, it’s increased off the west coast of Africa. Nigeria piracy has increased, with 36 people kidnapped for ransom and one killed. Nigerian pirates accounted for 31 of the region’s 51 attacks in 2013, the highest number since 2008.

More than 50 percent of all 2013 maritime piracy incidents occurred in Indonesia, but the report from the IMB calls these attacks “low-level opportunistic thefts, not to be compared with the more serious incidents off Africa.”

The maritime piracy lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent crewmembers of vessels involved in pirate attacks.

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