Piracy Plummets

Global acts of piracy continue to fall and have hit a seven-year low, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

A total of 49 incidents were recorded around the world in the first quarter of 2014, a level not seen since 2007 when there were 41 reported attacks.

Naval forces and armed guards continue to keep a lid on incidents off Somalia which accounted for just five of the total, the same number as the first quarter of last year, and no successful hijackings.

The threat of Somali piracy has been gradually receding with just 15 incidents in the whole of 2013, down from 75 in 2012 and 237 in 2011, the IMB reported earlier this year.

Its first quarter report confirmed today that West Africa is now the area of most concern with a quarter of all incidents, many of them serious, taking place in the region.

There were 12 incidents including two hijackings, 39 crew taken hostage and two other kidnappings.

Nigeria accounted for six incidents while Angola saw its first reported hijacking as pirates snatched a loaded tanker.

Indonesia had the highest number of attacks with 18 reports compared with 25 in the first quarter of 2013.

Most of the incidents in the region involve boarding and theft of property while vessels are at anchorage.

For more maritime news see Tradewinds

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