India ship owners day that piracy is costing the global shipping trade more than $9 billion a year. On Monday 3 October, the shipowners demanded that the U.N. set up a maritime force to stop pirates from operating off the Somalian coast in the Indian Ocean.
The costs are made up of increased insurance costs, longer routes to avoid pirate-infested areas, armed guards posted on board ships and ransoms paid for the release of hijacked vessels. All these factors increase costs for the global shipping industry.
Currently Somali pirates are holding about 26 hijacked ships and 600 crew in captivity. Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, and piracy has flourished. International militaries patrol the region, but the seas are too vast for the effort to halt attacks.