IMB: Attacks on Ships Reach an All-Time High
Global attacks on ships rose to an all-time high of 266, during the first six months of 2011 up from 196 in 2010 according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
More than 117 ships were attacked and 20 seized, by pirates off the coast of Somalia alone, since January 1, holding 28 ships and 518 hostages for ransom as of the end of April.
These issues are to be raised and reviewed by industry experts at the Middle East Money and Ships Conference, which takes place at the Address Hotel in Dubai Marina on October 16.
According to a report last year by the Council on Foreign Relations, there is no quantitative research available on the total cost of global piracy. Estimates vary widely because of disagreement over whether insurance premiums, freight rates, and the cost of re-routings should be included with, for instance, the cost of ransoms.
Some analysts suggest the cost is close to $1billion a year, while others claim losses could be as high as $16 billion.
According to IMB’s Piracy Reporting Center, in 2008, 47 of the 49 successful hijackings globally occurred off the coast of Somalia, although violent attacks against crew members were far more prevalent off the coast of Nigeria than anywhere else in the world.
In 2009, hijackings off Somalia increased to 49 despite fewer ships and an increased naval military presence, while incidents elsewhere in the world including Indonesia actually declined.
The conference program is split into four sessions, starting with a ship owners’ panel, debating the expansion of the Middle Eastern fleet and a financiers’ panel which will discuss the challenges convincing the finance sector to invest in shipping.
Additional sessions dedicated to trading patterns and infrastructure development and regulatory, technical and marine insurance issues will be addressed.