Remember those few weeks in 2009 after the captain of the Maersk Alabama had to be rescued by Navy SEALS and everyone cared about the scourge of piracy in the Indian Ocean? With the United States' newfound attention, the world mobilized against these high-seas outlaws, and it must have worked, because you never hear anything about pirates anymore. Maybe we captured them all, or just made piracy so difficult that the young Somalians who practiced it decided to hang up their AK-47s and seek employment in more respectable fields, like podiatry or ornithology. Whatever the explanation, piracy seems to now be a thing of the past.
Pirates captured a record 1,181 hostages in 2010 — almost all of them off the Somali coast — during a year in which hijackings and attacks became more violent, a global maritime watchdog said Tuesday.
Attackers seized 53 vessels worldwide in 2010, according to the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur. All but four were taken by Somali pirates.
"More people were taken hostage at sea in 2010 than in any year since records began" in 1991, said the annual report.
Pirates are using hijacked vessels to hunt ships from Mozambique to Oman, an "unprecedented" growth in range, said the report.
Pirates take record 1,181 hostages in 2010 [AP via Yahoo]