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Piracy War Deadly for Fishermen

Fishermen in the Indian Ocean have become casualties in the fight against Somali piracy. A surge in armed guards protecting merchant ships coincides with numerous shootings of fishermen mistaken for pirates. International naval forces have shot seven Yemeni fishermen since 2009, killing five of them, according to reports supplied by the government. Three Indian fishermen were shot and killed in two incidents this year, allegedly by Italian and American forces. And Oman has complained of multiple shootings of its fishermen by guards protecting merchant ships, according to a European Union official.

While arming merchant ships has significantly deterred pirate attacks, the killings of fishermen have gone largely ignored, with some arguing that countries have no jurisdiction to prosecute incidents that occur in international waters. Roll over the markers below for details on pirate attacks in 2011. Read the full story.

Type of attack
Area of detail
Increased guards reduce hijackings
In 2011, shipping companies ramped up their use of private armed guards when venturing through areas at high risk for piracy. That year, successful hijackings fell by 43 percent. They dropped another 43 percent through August this year compared to the same period in 2011.
Fewer successful attacks by Somali pirates


Declared private armed security aboard ships
Sources: International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre, European Union Naval Force MSC-HOA

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