Piracy is down overall due to cooperative international efforts to suppress it. But it’s still there, especially in the coastal waters of unstable and failed states. So watch your six when in the Straights of Malacca and off the coast of Nigeria.
January 15, 2017: Worldwide the threat of pirate attack has become a less expensive problem since 2013 and from then until 2015 most of the danger moved to the coasts of Malaysia and Indonesia and areas near the Malacca Strait. But in 2016 there were only two attacks in that area, compared to 104 in 2014. That accounted for most of the 60 percent decline in pirate activity throughout Asia. At that point the hot spot for pirate activity moved to the waters between the southern Philippines and Malaysia (Sabah). A slightly larger version of this area, extended east to Indonesia, accounted for 40 percent of all pirate attacks between 1995 and 2013. During that time the Somali coast and nearby areas accounted for only 28 percent. The difference was that pirates were taking large ships off Somalia and holding them and their crews for millions in ransom. In the rest of the world the take per ship attacked was less than ten percent of what Somali pirates were getting. It took a rarely used international effort to shut down the Somali problems. Elsewhere local efforts handled the problem. A model for local cooperation against piracy could be found among the nations bordering the Malacca Strait. Since the 1960s these nations have regularly revived tight and effective regional cooperation to shut down increased pirate activity in the area, especially the Malacca Straits.
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