Maritime piracy around the world hit a five-year low in 2012 , the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The agency said 297 attacks were recorded in 2012, down from 439 in 2011.
Those attacks include 28 vessels hijacked, with 585 crewmembers taken hostage and six killed. The data was compiled by the group’s piracy reporting center in Malaysia. There was a significant decrease in attacks off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, with only 75 attacks reported in 2012 compared to 237 in 2011.
The decrease is attributed in large part to international navies patrolling the African waters and preemptive strikes, as well as increased security measures such as hiring armed guards on ships.
According to the bureau’s report, the waters off the east and west African coasts are still dangerous areas. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea was on the rise, with 58 incidents reported last year. Nigeria accounted for 27 incidents, up from just 10 in 2011. Togo area attacks increased from 5 in 2011 to 15 last year.
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