DECJANFEB
19
201020112016
30 captures
19 Jan 2011 - 25 Jan 2021
About this capture
AFRICA
18 January 2011 Last updated at 05:23 ET
Pirates seized record 1,181 hostages in 2010 - report
Somali pirates are now operating farther offshore, the IMB says
PIRACY CRISIS
Growing risk
Q&A: Prosecuting pirates
Spotlight on 'guns for hire'
Somali piracy: Global map
Pirates took a record 1,181 hostages in 2010, despite increased patrolling of the seas, a maritime watchdog has said.
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said 53 ships were hijacked worldwide - 49 of them off Somalia's coast - and eight sailors were killed.
The IMB described as "alarming" the continued increase in hostage-taking incidents - the highest number since the centre began monitoring in 1991.
Overall, there were 445 pirate attacks last year - a 10% rise from 2009.
Last week, a separate study found maritime piracy costs the global economy between $7bn (£4.4bn) and $12bn (£7.6bn) a year.
Measures 'undermined'
"These figures for the number of hostages and vessels taken are the highest we have ever seen," said Pottengal Mukundan, the head of the IMB's Piracy Reporting Centre.
In the seas off Somalia, the IMB said, heavily-armed pirates were often overpowering fishing or merchant vessels and then using them as bases for further attacks.
The Somali attacks accounted for 1,016 hostages seized last year. Somali pirates are currently holding 31 ships with more than 700 crew on board.
Although naval patrols - launched in 2009 in the Gulf of Aden - have foiled a number of attacks, Somali pirates are now operating farther offshore.
"All measures taken at sea to limit the activities of the pirates are undermined because of a lack of responsible authority back in Somalia," the IMB said.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991.
Without schools, hospitals and employment opportunities in south-central Somalia "whatever actions are taken at sea to protect from piracy will have no effect", he told the BBC World Service.
However, the IMB noted that in the Gulf of Aden itself incidents more than halved to 53 due to the presence of foreign navies.
Mr Mukundan said it was "vital" that naval patrols continue.
Elsewhere, violent attacks increased in the South China Sea and waters off Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
Last week, a report by US think-tank One Earth Future said that piracy cost the international community up to $12bn each year.
The study calculated the amount from the costs of ransom, security equipment and the impact on trade.
It said the majority of costs came from piracy off Somalia.
More on This Story
PIRACY CRISIS
BACKGROUND
Growing risk
EU navies warn Somali piracy may enter deadly new phase
Q&A: Prosecuting pirates
Spotlight on 'guns for hire'
Somali piracy: Global map
Postcard from pirate capital
Inside story of Somali pirate attack
Chasing the piracy money trail
Q&A: Somali piracy
VIDEO AND AUDIO
How to counter a pirate attack
Experts reveal how to ward off pirates
From other news sites
Budapest Business Journal
Hostage-taking at sea rises to record levels
9 hrs ago
Guardian.co.uk
Pirate hijackings at record high
11 hrs ago
About these results
Related Internet links
International Maritime Bureau
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites
Share this page
More Africa stories
Tunisia leaders quit ruling party
Tunisia's interim president and prime minister quit the RCD party, in an apparent bid to defuse anger over its continued involvement in running the country.
UN praises south Sudan referendum
Nigeria army shoot-to-kill in Jos
Top Stories
Haiti charges 'Baby Doc' Duvalier
Tunisia leaders quit ruling party
Apple makes record $6bn profits
Irish premier Cowen survives vote
Strong earthquake hits Pakistan
Features & Analysis
'Ask not what your country...'
The secrets behind JFK's speech success
Flying the flag
Is the British monarchy just for show?
Settlement showdown?
Palestinian bid for UN settlement vote puts US on the spot
Status anxiety
How China is getting under the skin of America
Most Popular
Shared
Read
Haiti charges 'Baby Doc' Duvalier
Strong earthquake hits Pakistan
Murdered Jo 'did not eat pizza'
Apple makes record $6bn profits
India aims for tidal power first
Arabs push settlement resolution
Obama hosts China's Hu at dinner
Colombia police nab narco-pigeon
Pregnant police mutts in doghouse
US releases 2009 Obama gift list
Watched/Listened
Elsewhere on BBC News
Silicon Valley insider
Tech expert Michael S Malone on the traits of successful start-ups and what makes the Valley tick
Programmes
Click
How a new "digital ink" e-reader is bringing colour to the tablet market
Services
News feeds
Mobile
Podcasts
Alerts
E-mail news
About BBC News
Editors' blog
BBC College of Journalism
News sources
World Service Trust
Mobile
About the BBC
BBC Help
Contact Us
Accessibility Help
Terms of Use
Jobs
Privacy & Cookies
Advertise With Us
BBC © MMXI The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.
HomeUS & CanadaLatin AmericaUKAfricaAsia-PacEuropeMid-EastSouth AsiaBusinessHealthSci/EnvironmentTechEntertainmentVideo
DeliciousDiggFacebookredditStumbleUponTwitterEmailPrint
NewsSportWeatherTravelTVRadioMore