Piracy is on the rise, according to a report released by the International Maritime Bureau, an international shipping security watchdog organization. In 2002 there were 370 reported attacks worldwide, up from 335 from the year before. Indonesia, Bangladesh and India are respectively the three most dangerous areas. Other hot spots include Nigeria, Malaysia, Brazil, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Guyana, according to the IMB.
The good news, though, is that many of these countries are increasing steps to prosecute pirates, an effort supported by the IMB as one of the most effective means of deterring would-be pirates. The Malacca Straits, for example, an area notorious for piracy, has seen a drop in attacks. There were 16 reported attacks in the Straits in 2002, compared to 75 in 2000.
Violent attacks continue to concern IMB officials. “Although the number of crew killed has declined to 10, as compared to 21 in 2001, the potential for violence, however, continues to be a worrying factor,” the director of the IMB told Hong Kong Shipping News International. “There were 24 crew or passengers missing, and this should be considered along with the 10 confirmed killed. The number of attacks using knives rose from 105 to 136.”