Somalia has full month free of piracy, says agency - Daily Nation

Somalia has full month free of piracy, says agency

Thursday August 9 2012

By PAUL REDFERN NATION Correspondent

LONDON, Thursday

For the first time since 2007 there have been no successful piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia.

The last hijack was on June 19, when a fishing dhow was seized, and no ship has been fired upon or a boarding attempted since June 26, when a Maltese-flagged cargo ship was attacked, according to data from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

“This is traditionally a quiet time for pirate attacks, but there has always been at least a handful of incidences even during the monsoon months of July and August,” Mr Cyrus Mody an official at the IMB’s London office told the Telegraph newspaper.

“Since June 26 this year, we have seen no activity whatsoever in the southern Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Arabia or the Somali Basin.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a full month where nothing’s happened since before Somali piracy really grew into a major problem in 2007.”

Statistics from the IMB for the first six months of this year show that piracy attacks off the Somali coast have dropped from 163 to 69, a fall of more than 40 per cent.

The IMB puts the drop down to three factors: the deployment of an international naval force; better management practices by shipping companies and ‘ship hardening,’ including the use of privately armed security personnel.