Piracy incidents around the world

Early on Thursday morning Somali pirates seized a Panamanian tanker called the Hannibal II 900 nautical miles from the Somali coast, closer to India than to Somalia. Though the greatest number of ships are seized in the notorious Gulf of Aden, or “Pirate Alley,” off the coast of Somalia, the seizure of Hannibal II is just the latest example of Somali pirates venturing farther into the Indian Ocean, hijacking ships off the coast of Kenya and Madagascar, and even Oman in the Arabian Sea. Both the range of pirates and the ransoms sought are on the increase — earlier this month a record-breaking $10 million was paid for the release of a South Korean tanker and its crew. And though Somali pirates were responsible for 44 percent of piracy incidents, they’re not the only ones — tens of ships and hundreds of hostages are taken captive by pirates annually around the globe. This map from the International Maritime Bureau shows incidences of piracy in 2010 (to date). Click on any tack for a full incident report.

Data courtesy of ICC Commercial Crimes Services.