The worldwide shipping industry decided on declassifying the Indian Ocean coastline that lies off Somalia as a high-risk zone after years of several successful counter-piracy operations.
International marine groups like the International Chamber of Shipping approved such a big change. It will be operational from January 2023, they mentioned in a statement on Monday.
No piracy attacks against any merchant’s vessels have occurred since 2018 off Somalia, per the statement.
For over a decade, pirates based in Somalia kept on launching attacks on commercial vessels in the East African waters, in some instances earning millions of dollars in ransom and compelling shipping majors to undertake security measures like installing barbed wires and employing armed guards.
The risks were depicted in Captain Phillips, the 2013 Oscar-nominated movie that starred Tom Hanks.
International navies and an EU anti-piracy task force have, over the past few years, managed to crack down on pirates by regularly patrolling waters in their armed vessels and taking the help of satellite imagery. The seas off West Africa have become more dangerous, with piracy increasing exponentially in the last decade.
References: Financial Times, Fin24