Unprecedented Increase in Somali Pirate Activity

October 2009

ICC IMB Piracy Oct 2009

The third quarter Piracy report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) showed that Somali pirates have extended their reach, threatening not only the Gulf of Aden and East Coast of Somalia but also the southern region of the Red Sea, the Bab el Mandab Straits and the East Coast of Oman. This area still ranks as the number one piracy hotspot, with a total of  168 incidents reported in the first three quarters of 2009, accounting for more than half of the overall number of reported attacks.

A total of 32 vessels were hijacked by Somali pirates in the first nine months of 2009, with 533 crew members taken hostage. A further 85 vessels were fired upon and as of 30 September 2009, four vessels, with over 80 crew held hostage, were still under negotiation.

Nigeria remains another area of high concern, as well Chittagong port in Bangladesh and the South China Sea.

Further details are given in an IMB Press Release of 21 October 2009 which can be viewed and downloaded below.