Piracy is any illegal act of violence, detention, or any act of depredation committed for private ends against a ship on the high seas or otherwise outside of the jurisdiction of a state. Incidents of armed robbery against ships, similar acts which happen while a ship is within the territorial waters of a state, have also been included.
Piracy affects the efficiency and security of the commercial shipping industry by increasing security costs, delaying shipments, and endangering the crew and cargo. In rare cases, entire ships are stolen, lost at sea, or intentionally destroyed. Although the number of incidents has declined recently, the incidents have become more violent.
NOTE: Data for 2001 is preliminary.
|Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships (monthly incidents)||Dec-00||Dec-01|
|Number of Incidents||45||24|
|Percentage change from same month previous year||45.16||-46.67|
NOTE: The current value is compared to the value from the same period in the previous year to account for seasonality.
SOURCE: United Nations International Maritime Organization, Monthly Circulars and Annual Reports 1995-2001, available at http://www.imo.org.