Piracy Update


  • Piracy is costly – estimate of cost range from $1 billion to $16 billion a year.  Typical ransom payments range from $500,000 to $2 million.  Insurance premiums also increased 10-40 times for a single transit through the Gulf of Aden (source: Wall Street Journal, 18 January 2010)

Ratio of Ships Attacked:

  • About one in 500 ships passing through the Gulf of Aden are captured by pirates, but one in a 100 are attacked or threatened.  Pirates have learned to seek out the unprepared merchant ships knowing that these will be easier to board and capture (source: Editor in Chief, Strategy Page)

Gulf of Aden versus Rest of World:

  • Pirate attacks around the world surged 38.5% in 2009 with suspected Somali pirates accounting for 217, more than half of the 406 reported incidents (source: Reuters, 14 January 2010)

Number of Incidents:

  • The 2009 annual piracy report issued by the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) states that worldwide in 2009, 153 vessels were boarded, 49 vessels were hijacked, 84 attempted attacks, 120 vessels fired upon, and 1052 crew were taken hostage (source: IMB PRC)

Oil Laden Tankers Attacked:

  • International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre in Malaysia report that last year pirates attacked 42 oil-laden tankers around the world, a 40% rise from 2008 (source: icc-ccs.org & Wall Street Journal, 4 January 2010)

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