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International Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships: 1995-2002 (monthly data)

International Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships: 1995-2002 (monthly data). If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email for further assistance.

NOTE: Data for 2002 are preliminary.

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.

The Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation has released several alerts warning American ships of increased threat possibilities since September 11th. The most recent alert, published in July 2002, is directed to ships operating in or near the waters of Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Indonesia, and the Strait of Malacca. Specific threat possibilities are not outlined by the alerts. However, piracy continues to be a major threat to maritime activity in those areas.

Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships Jun-01 Jun-02
Number of Incidents    39     27
Percentage change from same month previous year 25.81 -30.77

NOTE: The current value is compared to the value from the same period in the previous year to account for seasonality. Data for 2002 are preliminary.

A trendline has been provided for international piracy. The trend has been calculated through a statistical procedure called Structural Modeling, in which the time series under study is decomposed into seasonal, trend and irregular components. For further information on this statistical procedure, see: S.J. Koopman, et al., Structural Time Series Analyser, Modeller and Predictor (STAMP), London: Timberlake Consultants Ltd. , 2000

SOURCE: United Nations International Maritime Organization, Monthly Circulars and Annual Reports 1995-2002, available at