World sea piracy falls to five-year low in 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - World sea piracy fell to its lowest level in five years in 2012, thanks to a huge reduction in Somali piracy, an international maritime watchdog said on Wednesday.
The International Maritime Bureau said 297 attacks were recorded worldwide last year, down sharply from 439 in 2011. A total of 28 vessels were hijacked, with 585 crew members taken hostage and six killed during 2012, according to data compiled by the London-based bureau's piracy reporting centre in Malaysia.
The bureau said only 75 attacks were reported off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, down from 237 cases in 2011. Somali pirates hijacked 14 ships, half the total in 2011.
The bureau praised international navies patrolling the African waters, saying their preemptive strikes and robust action against mother ships helped deter piracy. Security measures by ships, such as hiring armed guards, also helped ward off pirates, it said.