Somali drop in maritime hijackings

But the main reason for the drop in maritime hijackings seems to be that ships are now far better defended against attacks. Armed guards, now carried by more than 60% of vessels, have been essential in discouraging them. Pirates are playing it safe by first scouting for guards, whereas previously they opened fire to intimidate crews; seeing arms on board is a big deterrent. Higher cruising speeds in pirate-infested zones and rerouting also have helped, as have razor wire, high-pressure hoses and citadels—secure spaces on ships from which crews can call for reinforcements. (This makes it easier to come to the aid of ships under attack, because pirates can no longer use seafarers as human shields.) Navies patrolling the area, from EU task-forces to private motherships, are also co-operating better and acting more aggressively. more

Prosecuting more than 1,000 pirates and transferring them to Somali prisons, where conditions are grim, appeared to be having a preventive effect. The number of active pirates is perhaps 3,000, so if you put a thousand behind bars, and 300-400 die every year at sea from hunger (or) drowning … you will quickly come down. read

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