War on Indian Ocean piracy cost $1.4bn last year

About $1.4bn was spent on the war on piracy in the Western Indian Ocean bloc last year, according to Colorado, USA-based not-for-profit group Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), a programme of the One Earth Future Foundation.

The cost includes money paid by shipping operators for increased insurance due to piracy, labour, armed guards and other protection measures, ransom paid by insurers and the cost of naval deployments.

More than 200 participants from 50 countries and organisations met in Nairobi, Kenya in July to discuss a global approach to combat maritime piracy.

The forum was organised by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), CGPCS, the Kenyan government and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The economic cost of piracy had been trending downwards from $7bn in 2010 due to effective counter-piracy measures.

At the 21st plenary session of the CGPCS, representatives of EU NAVFOR Somalia and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) identified rare cases of piracy since the resurgence of attacks at the beginning of 2017 — namely two attacks in November 2017; the alleged perpetrators are awaiting trial in the Seychelles — and one attack at the beginning of this year.

EU NAVFOR Somalia, also known as Operation Atalanta, is a counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa.