The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) records details of pirate attacks on shipping around the world. On a global basis, 2010 appears to be the peak year for
piracy attacks (“actual and attempted incidents”), when 445 were reported. The next year saw a small reduction, with a bigger drop in 2012 to 297.2 This downward trend seems to have continued in 2013.3 “Personal violations” followed a similar trend, with 1,270 in 2010 and 662 in 2012. In the earlier year “hostage” was easily the largest category of violation, together with several cases of assault and injury, and eight sailors were killed – about the average for the period 2006 to 2010.4 Hijackings and hostage- taking are practiced mainly by Somali pirates (Western Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea); while in South East Asia (especially Indonesia) piracy was primarily aimed at robbery. West Africa also contributes to maritime piracy.