Box 1: Shifting Piracy Hotspots

Box 1: Shifting Piracy Hotspots

Incidents of piracy and armed robbery have been rising in East African waters (e.g., Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea) in recent years as the numbers of incidents in other parts of the globe have generally stabilized.

In 2008, acts of piracy that occurred in East African waters were more than double the number from the prior year and comprised 44 percent of incidents worldwide. In the 11-year period from 1998 to 2008, yearly totals in these waters rose from 19 to 134 - an increase of 605 percent. In contrast, in 2000, when global incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea peaked at 471, only 6 percent occurred in East African waters while acts of piracy in the South China Sea, Malacca Strait, and Indian Ocean accounted for 77 percent of incidents across the globe (table 1).

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2010 based upon the International Maritime Organization, Reports on Acts of Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships Annual Report (Annual Issues), MSC.4/Circ.133, available at http://www.imo.org/home.asp as of December 2009.