Figures released by the Internationa Maritime Bureau (IMB) as of mid-December show that although the number of Somali pirate attacks on shipping is dramatically up, the ratio of attacks to successful hijackings has slipped roughly by half.
The IMB counted 209 boarding attempts, 43 of them successful in 2009. In 2008, 111 reported attempts yielded 42 successes. Spokesman for the European Union naval forces on the scene, CDR John Harbour, said "A lot more ships would have been taken if we weren't there." (AP, 12/25/09)