New Report on Economic Costs of Piracy

April 09, 2013

A new report detailing the overall economic cost incurred worldwide from Somali piracy has just been launched by Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), a project of One Earth Future Foundation. The report, The Economic Cost of Somali Piracy 2012 is the third annual assessment of the Economic Cost of Somali Piracy presented by OBP, and the launch will coincide with meetings in Copenhagen, hosted by the Danish Foreign Ministry, addressing the prosecution of Somali pirates and the tracking of illegal financial flows. Copenhagen is home to some of the world's largest shipping companies and associations.

While the numbers of attacks and hostages held by Somali pirates are down significantly says the report, those who continue to be held face deplorable conditions. The report shows that even with notable gains at sea – achieved mostly by private armed security guards and by aggressive naval activity – the overall cost to the international community remains considerable. The report estimates an overall cost for 2012 to be close to US $6 billion, a fall of about US $1 billion from 2011. But when considered in relation to the lower number of piracy attacks in 2012, the cost to prevent each attack has gone up significantly, notes the report.

BIMCO Deputy Secretary General Michael Lund says "The findings of the report underscore the importance of the continued focus of Government and Shipping Industry stakeholders on combating piracy, and it also illustrates well that problems like the Somali piracy problem can grow extremely costly over time. The implied lesson learned is that there is every reason to tackle similar upcoming problems swiftly and with early determination to avoid the problem becoming institutionalized and to minimize the cost of restoring law and order afterwards."

According to Jon Bellish, author of OBP's Economic Cost of Somali Piracy 2012, "The report shows that the money spent fighting pirates at sea has started to pay off. Activity is down, but even with the lower number of attacks reported in 2012 there was very little movement of resources toward investing in the long-term solution ashore."

Further details can be found on the Oceans Beyond Piracy website at

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