Somali pirates have hijacked an Iranian fishing boat on Tuesday and have docked it in the north, according to Oceans Beyond Piracy.
The US-based non-profit group said that 20 sailors were taken hostage by the pirates.
Oceans Beyond Piracy’s regional manager John Steed said that the latest hijacking underscores the need for private armed security.
“The risk is very high if a vessel is not carrying an armed security team and following best maritime practice,” Steed said.
This year there have been at least nine attacks in recent months resulting in three successful hijackings. There were only two attempted hijackings last year alone.
The Indian navy recently chased away three boats of would-be hijackers off the coast of Somalia.
The mayor of Hobyo, Ali Shire told Reuters that the pirates intend to use the Iranian fishing vessels as a mothership to attack other vessels. He also added that the Iranian vessel did not have the right licensing to be fishing in Puntland waters.
Lawlessness, unemployment, Illegal fishing and waste dumping have been cited as being the main catalyst for piracy in Somalia.
Somali piracy began in early 2005, by 2011, there were 736 hostages and 32 boats in captivity. Ocean’s Beyond Piracy estimated that at its pinnacle, Somali piracy cost the world economy $7 billion. Far more than Somalia receives in remittances or aid.