The International Maritime Bureau has recorded a rising number of attacks on merchant ships by pirates, particularly in Asia. It noted that many more potential assaults had been thwarted through enhanced cooperation.
Globally, 134 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against merchant ships were reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in the first six months of 2015, marking an increase on the 116 incidents registered in the same period a year earlier.
The IMB Piracy Reporting Center said Wednesday pirates managed to board 106 vessels in the period under review and were responsible for 13 hijackings.
It added that 250 crew members had been taken hostage in the current year so far.
Bangladesh new trouble spot
According to the latest figures, there's been a significant increase in attacks in Asia, particularly off the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong.
The center, which is affiliated to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), added, though, that enhanced cooperation among regional authorities was beginning to pay off, meaning that "an early detection of approaching skiffs had resulted in attacks being aborted."
"Information sharing and coordinated action between concerned coastal states is crucial in responding to the threat," IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan said in a statement. "We commend the effort that caught one gang recently and also the hefty custodial sentences imposed on another, which will help deter further incidents."