The IMB is trying to soften the blow of the pirate activity by releasing a report, a bit late, to state the statistics of the first quarter of this year. By stating that piracy attacks are down in the first quarter, and relaeasing that well into the second quarter, is a useless report. Piracy this month alone is a dramatic increase.
Thier report as reported by RTT News;
There has been a sharp drop in the number of pirate attacks on ships during the first quarter of 2010, says the International Maritime Bureau(IMB).
An IMB released on Wednesday said pirate attack of ships worldwide had come down to 67 during the first three months of the current year from 102 reported in the corresponding period of last year.
The report attributed the drop in incidents to the close vigil maintained by naval forces in the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden as well as steps taken by mercantile marines.
"This marked reduction can be attributed to the continued presence and success of the navies in the Gulf of Aden along with the robust anti piracy measures adopted by the merchant navy fleet," it said.
Out of the 67 hijackings recorded so far in 2010, Somali pirates carried out 35 and the IMB called for extreme caution in dealing with corsairs from the war-ravaged nation who were equipped to fire automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at ships.
"Somali pirates are dangerous and are prepared to fire their automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades at vessels in order to stop them," the report pointed out.
The coasts off Nigeria and Indonesia were the only other regions from where pirate attacks were reported in 2010.
Nigeria recorded just two incidents while Indonesia had eight which the IMB said should not be read too much into as Indonesian waters were notoriously unsafe during the eighties and nineties. But diligent action on the part of Indonesian authorities ensured that the menace posed by sea piracy was effectively and properly tackled.
In all, anti-piracy forces patrolling the high seas boarded 26 vessels this year and 18 ships were fired upon by pirates, 12 were unsuccessfully targeted and 11 vessels hijacked. Further 194 crew members were taken hostage by the outlaws, out of which 12 were injured.
A total of 18 incidents including the capture of five vessels and 11 attacks by pirates off the coast of east and south Somalia were recorded in 2010 whereas there were 21 incidents including four hijackings and 11 attacks in the previous year.
What they are not reporting is the dramatic increase in hijackings in April alone. Why are they releasing what they must deem a good report, so late? It seems that the Admirals of the Naval Fleets are the realistic ones, by suggesting that ships should be armed, and the IMB taking the soft line.