Pirate hijackings of merchant ships in waters off Somalia fell to a nine-year low in 2013 as security measures including the use of armed guards helped deter and repel attacks on a trade route linking Europe to Asia.
Somali pirates hijacked two ships last year, down from 14 in 2012, the International Maritime Bureau, a London-based group tracking sea crime, said in a report today. Last year’s tally was the smallest since 2004, when there were none, data from the bureau show. The total number of attacks by Somali pirates fell 80 percent to 15.
Shipping companies are seeing the results of efforts to safeguard vessels sailing near Africa’s east coast from hijackings. Piracy has declined because of the intervention of international navies, better on-board security, the use of private armed guards and greater stability in Somalia itself, according to the IMB.