Google Earth – Pirate Attacks World Wide

This was originally posted on July 2, 2008 but with more and more pirate attacks in the news I have updated it and think it deserves another look.  This comes in response the recent hijack of a Malaysian ship in the Gulf of Aden and is the fourth attack in the area this month.

Piracy has long been a problem in the Gulf of Aden, where one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, connecting the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, passes by lawless Somalia, which has been without an effective central government since 1991.

IMB live piracy map 2008

This map is brought to us by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, a division of the International Marine Bureau.  It is compiling a live Google map mashup of all reported pirate attacks for 2008. So far this year Nigeria has seen the most pirate incidents fallowed by Indonesia and Bangladesh.

What is the IMB?

IMB’s main task is to protect the integrity of international trade by seeking out fraud and malpractice. For over 20 years, it has used industry knowledge, experience and access to a large number of well-placed contacts around the world to do this: identifying and investigating frauds, spotting new criminal methods and trends, and highlighting other threats to trade.

The information gathered from sources and during investigations is provided to members in the form of timely advice via a number of different communication routes. It lists the threats and explains how members can reduce their vulnerability to them. Over the years, this approach has thwarted many attempted frauds and saved the shipping and trading industry many millions of dollars.

What is the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre?

A major part of the IMB’s work to make shipping safer involves assisting in the suppression of piracy and armed robbery against ships around the world.

In 1992, the escalating number of piracy incidents led to the establishment of a Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Its job is to raise awareness of piracy hotspots, detail specific attacks and their consequences, and investigate incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea and in port. Another role entails working with national governments on a range of initiatives to reduce and ultimately eradicate attacks against ships.

The Centre, managed by the IMB, has enjoyed considerable success over the years and has made huge strides towards meeting its objectives to reduce piracy and in increasing general awareness of the problem.

Past Years Maps

2007: Google maps mashup of pirate attacks

2006: Google maps mashup of pirate attacks

2005: Google maps mashup of pirate attacks

IMB also has a Weekly Piracy Report that can be found HERE.