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Although piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea declined year-on-year by 18% in 2014, kidnapping of senior crew members increased by 75% over the previous year, according to a report by maritime security firm Dryad Maritime.

The UK Chamber of Shipping has warned that despite the fall in Somali piracy, violent "petro-piracy" remains a threat to shipping in West Africa and South East Asia.

Small tanker attacks in Southeast Asia spurred a jump in the number of ship hijackings in 2014, despite an overall fall in the number of piracy attacks.

Pirates around the world will be greatly heartened by the award for “moral damages” made by the European Court of Human Rights to a gang of their Somali compatriots whose detention by the French military in 2008 was judged by them to be lacking in legal niceties.

The number of pirate attacks reported worldwide to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has continued to fall with 178 incidents in the first nine months, however, the anti-piracy watchdog warned on hijacking of small tankers in Southeast Asia.

Seafarers and private security guards from Advanfort’s Seaman Guard Ohio patrol vessel now face further detention and re-trial in India, after a last-minute appeal against the Indian High Court’s verdict to drop all charges.

A Vietnamese oil tanker missing for seven days has been found on 9 October as it suffered an attack by pirates, according to an update by Regional Co-operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) in Singapore.

Southeast Asian maritime authorities have begun a search for a Vietnamese oil tanker, which has been missing for six days and is feared to have been hijacked by pirates, reports said.

Despite the sharp decline in piracy off the coast of Somalia concerns about its possible resurgence remain from analysts and industry officials.

Shipping industry associations have issued updated guidelines for anti-piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

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