Falling Piracy Figures Hide Worrying Trends

The UK Chamber of Shipping has warned that a significant drop in Somali based piracy should not mask significant security threats to shipping and seafarers in other regions, both off West Africa and in South East Asia. – where a violent ‘petro-piracy’ is thriving.

A report by the International Maritime Bureau shows a remarkable drop in Somali-based piracy, falling from 236 incidents in 2011 to just 11 in 2014.

The fall indicates that the military operation combined with industry best practices has finally had a significant impact on piracy in the Indian Ocean.

UK Chamber CEO Guy Platten said that ”whilst most of the media and Hollywood attention has been focused on Somali-based piracy, the worrying trends emerging in the Gulf of Guinea and Singapore Straits have received little attention.”

”This new form of maritime criminality, which often has links to shore-based oil theft, is taking place within the jurisdictions of functioning nation-states, but ones that pay little attention to maritime security and governance. Put simply, these regions have become a breeding ground for future pirates,” Platten said.

UK Chamber suggests that, seeing that these new threats do not require military action, global leaders should pressure governments in West Africa and South East Asia to enforce stricter laws and develop better maritime governance structures.

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