Piracy Attacks Drop to Zero

By on August 9, 2012
Photo courtesy of EU NAVFOR.

No attacks by Somali pirates have been reported in the past 30 days

For the first time in the last five years, there have been no pirate attacks off the east coast of Africa for a full month.

The last attack occurred on June 26, when a Maltese-flagged cargo ship was attacked, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

“This is traditionally a quiet time for pirate attacks, but there has always been at least a handful of incidents even during the monsoon months of July and August,” Cyrus Mody of IMB told reporters. “It’s the first time we’ve had a full month where nothing’s happened since before Somali piracy really grew into a major problem in 2007.”

The month of inactivity follows a 60 percent drop in piracy attacks in the region over the first half of this year. Overall, 177 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Center in the first six months of 2012, compared to 266 incidents for the same period in 2011.

IMB attributed the decline in Somali piracy to the pre-emptive and disruptive counter piracy tactics employed by the international navies.

“The naval actions play an essential role in frustrating the pirates,” Pottengal Mukundan, IMB’s director, said in a statement. “There is no alternative to their continued presence.”

At the same time, a growing number of countries have authorized the use of armed guards aboard ships transiting the risky waters off the Horn of Africa, covering about 1 million square miles. Belgium and Italy last week authorized armed security, joining the U.S. and the U.K. No vessel carrying armed guards has been hijacked.