The human cost of maritime piracy 2012

Oceans Beyond Piracy presented its third annual assessment of the Economic Cost of Somali Piracy 2012 (ECoP 2012). This year’s assessment, like the one before it, considered nine separate cost categories and found that maritime piracy cost the global economy between $5.7 and $6.1 billion in 2012. This figure reflects a drop in the cost of piracy to the global community of around $850 million, or 12.6% from 2011. This updated report studies not only the human cost of Somali Piracy, but also examines the threat of piracy to seafarers in the waters off West Africa. It further discusses the long-­term psychological and financial difficulties faced by seafarers following attacks and periods of time spent in captivity.

The detailed report has been developed through the combined efforts of the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) project of One Earth Future Foundation, of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), and of the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP).

It was launched at an event on 18th June in the Plaza Suites at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, in London. All the media were invited to attend.

The report finds that incidents of violence against seafarers remain high, and whilst there has been an 80 percent drop of attacks off the coast of East Africa, the average period for hostages who remain captive there exceeds two years. Additionally, more seafarers were subjected to attacks and boarding by West African piracy than by Somalia-­based piracy. The report also includes a statistical analysis of the violence caused by acts of piracy, analysis of seafarer interviews discussing their perception of piracy, and sections discussing the different threats and economic impacts faced by seafarers off East and West Africa.

According to Kaija Hurlburt of OBP, “The report shows that continued vigilance and better information-­sharing is needed to relieve the plight of seafarers; as long as one hostage remains in captivity, the human cost is too high”. Roy Paul of MPHRP adds: “Seafarer welfare, both during and after being taken hostage, remains a huge concern and the effects of piracy reach far beyond the days spent in captivity”. According to Pottengal Mukundan of the IMB, “This report is unique in that it contains information submitted by Flag States, on-­line surveys of seafarer concerns regarding piracy, as well as firsthand accounts from released seafarers”.

Download the full report here


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