Pirate attacks down off Somalia, up off Nigeria
The guided missile destroyer USS Kidd rescued an Iranian fishing vessel from pirates in January.
April 23rd, 2012
12:38 PM ET

Pirate attacks down off Somalia, up off Nigeria

Pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia have decreased dramatically this year, but the number of incidents off Africa's west coast is increasing, and piracy is becoming more violent there, the International Maritime Bureau reported Monday.

There were 102 incidents of piracy and armed robbery during the first quarter of 2012, according to the agency, part of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Forty-three of those were attributed to Somali pirates, a decrease from 97 in the first quarter of 2011. Nine vessels were hijacked in the area, a decrease from 16 in the period a year earlier. Pirates took 144 crew members hostage off Somalia during the quarter, according to the report.

The bureau credited international navies, which have staged both reactive and pre-emptive strikes against pirates in the region, for the decrease in piracy off Somalia. It hoped for continued progress.

“The (European Union) announcement to expand their anti-piracy mission to target pirates ashore is another welcome move that could further threaten the Somali piracy model,” Pottengal Mukundan, director of the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, said in a statement.

While progress was made off Africa's east coast, piracy off Nigeria on Africa's west coast was growing, the report said.

Nigeria-based pirates were behind 11 attacks in the first quarter, the bureau said. Only 10 pirate attacks were reported off Nigeria all of last year, it said.

“Nigerian piracy is increasing in incidence and extending in range,” Mukundan said in a statement. “At least six of the 11 reported incidents in Nigeria occurred at distances greater than 70 nautical miles from the coast, which suggests that fishing vessels are being used as motherships to attack shipping further afield.”

Two people were killed in the Nigerian pirate attacks, which included two hijackings with 42 crew members taken hostage, the report said.

Pirate attacks also increased off Indonesia during the quarter, the bureau reported, with 18 vessels attacked, up from five a year earlier. Robbery is the main target of those attacks, the bureau said.

Iran detains 13 alleged pirates after clash

Somali pirates release British hostage

Danish navy rescues 16 hostages

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Filed under: Nigeria • Pirates • Somalia
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. burnabyjoefan

    We all know the real reason Pirate attacks are down off the coast of Somalia... SEAL Team 6

    I hope I never make them angry.

    May 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Khalid

    monkey see monkey do,, Somali pirate to Nigeria Prirates

    May 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. hifisms

    Racist Khalid

    May 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    September 23, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Di

    Anyone heard of a BP ship being hijacked by Somali pirates off the Indian Ocean? How do one finds out?

    October 15, 2012 at 3:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
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