Ships are staffing their decks with armed guards. Government navies are out in force scouring the waters. The increased watchfulness is starting to wash away the grip held by maritime pirates, especially Somali ones, over the high seas.
Piracy dove 54% in the first half of the year, according to the International Maritime Bureau, a unit of the International Chamber of Commerce.
From January to June, pirates around the world attacked ships 177 times, down from 266 assaults during the same period last year. Overall, 20 vehicles were hijacked. More than 300 crew members were taken hostage; at least four of them were killed.
But off Somalia’s coast, incidents were more than halved from 163 to 69. Only 13 vessels were seized, compared with 21 in the first half of last year.