Piracy has been around for as long as maritime trade. Although the technology pirates use has changed considerably since people first sailed the seas, the essence of piracy has remained the same to this day. Typically, pirates try to board the vessels under attack, steal money and valuables from the ship’s crew, or steal the ship’s cargo. In some cases, pirates take the crew hostage and demand ransom. To carry out attacks, pirates use a variety of weapons - ranging from firearms to knives – that are used to threaten and sometimes even kill seafarers. Fortunately, in 2020, no crew members were killed during pirate attacks but nine were injured.
Pirates often operate in international waters, posing a challenge for governments to effectively combat it. Besides laws that outlaw piracy and punish convicted pirates, countries deploy armed ships to patrol important maritime chokepoints, guard private ships and if need be, fend off pirate ships.
After peaking in 2010 and 2011, global attempted and actual attacks reached a record low in 2019. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led to a rise in pirate activity in 2020. The global number of actual and attempted piracy attacks increased by 20 percent in 2020, from 162 piracy incidents in 2019 to 195 incidents in 2020. Not only have been presumably more people left with fewer opportunities to secure a living but weak economic conditions have left governments with fewer resources to battle piracy.
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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Pirate Attacks".