the USS Bulkeley, which has helped rescue several ships from pirate control. Photo by: Official U.S. Navy Imagery
By Eliza Ronalds-Hannon
After dominating news cycles and captivating fans of maritime drama for the past five years, it appears the Somali pirates' reign of terror may be over.
In 2012, seaborne hijackers captured only five vessels, compared to 47 in 2010 and 25 in 2011, which was a year that saw a record 176 attacks. "The numbers speak for themselves," said Timo Lange, Media Operations Officer for the EU Naval Force in Somalia, who said the decrease points to "the downfall of piracy."
It began last summer, he said, and was a result of efforts in both local and international enforcement, as well as elective changes adopted by the private shipping industry. The way they teamed up to solve this seemingly impossible problem will likely serve as a prototype for managing such threats in the future.