Threat Remains

Somali piracy remains a threat to maritime vessels from all over the world, according to members of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

“We all know that the international community has been working very hard to address both the symptoms and the root causes of the Somali piracy,” said Mary Seet-Cheng, senior specialist adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.

While we know that the IMB piracy attack figures have shown a rise in the first half of this year, it is also clear that the attacks are becoming increasingly violent. Pirates using machineguns, grenade launchers and other weapons, according to the IMB. Worldwide attacks rose to 266 in the first six months of 2011 compared with 196 in the same period last year. More than 60% were by Somali pirates.

So what did the IMB figures really tell us about Somali piracy today? Well there is good news and bad. The bad news? Attacks are up. The good news? According to Wired magazine, pirates are starting to “suck a little bit at converting attacks into actual hijackings”.

However pirates are also getting more ambitious in their targeting, even venturing into choppier waters and doing some off-season pirating during monsoon season.

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