News / Africa

Report says Pirate Attacks Down in 2010

An armed suspected pirate looks over the edge of a skiff, in international waters off the coast of Somalia, (File photo)
An armed suspected pirate looks over the edge of a skiff, in international waters off the coast of Somalia, (File photo)

Multimedia

Audio

Piracy attacks declined worldwide during the first half of the year, according to the International Maritime Bureau.  But it says Somali pirates are increasing their range and capabilities.

The coast of Somalia remains a major piracy hotspot, the location of more than half this year's pirate attacks.  But International Maritime Bureau Director Pottengal Mukundan says the target area is widening.

"The fact is that the Somali pirates are ranging further out than they have ever done before.  We are talking of going 1,000 nautical miles [1,609 kilometers] away from the coast in order to attack ships, board them, hijack them and then bring them back into Somalia until a ransom is paid for their release," noted Mukundan.

The International Maritime Bureau recorded 196 piracy incidents in the first six months of the year - about 20 percent less than the same period last year.

In the Gulf of Aden there were 86 pirate attacks in the first half of 2009 and 33 so far this year.  

Mukundan says foreign navies, which have operated in the Gulf of Aden since 2009, have been instrumental in reigning in piracy in the area. But he says piracy is more difficult to manage in the Indian Ocean.

"It is a huge, huge expanse of sea, very difficult for the navies to effectively monitor it and deal with it in the way it has been successfully dealt in the Gulf of Aden," he added.

He says he thinks by the end of 2010 the number of piracy attacks may match or even exceed the 2009 total.

"At the moment we are seeing a lull because of the southwest monsoons in the Indian Ocean, where these small pirate skiffs cannot operate," Mukundan explained.  "But the southwest monsoons will subside by the end of August and then we expect the pirates to be back there trying to seize the ships."

According to the International Maritime Bureau report, the first half of the year has seen one crewmember killed, 597 crewmembers taken hostage, and 16 injured.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs