Paul Redfern | 2010.11.15
Fears are growing among the international shipping community that 2010 could see a record number of seafarers kidnapped by Somali pirates.
The number of crew kidnapped so far this year stands at 790 and experts fear the figure will soon surpass last year’s record number of 867. While some seafarers have been rescued, the number still captive stands at 435.
According to figures gathered by the London-based International Chamber of Commerce’s Commercial Crimes Services, while the total number of attacks by Somali pirates has declined, the numbers of crew kidnapped and ships hijacked has risen from 34 to 40 in the first nine months of 2010.
International trade unions have however raised concerns that the figures hide the true scale of the disruption to maritime trade off the coast of East Africa, in the Gulf of Aden and even far out into the Indian Ocean.