Somali piracy cost $7bn in 2011
Washington - Somali piracy cost the world about $7bn in 2011, including more than $2bn for military operations, armed guards and equipment to protect ships, a monitoring group said on Wednesday.
The US-based Oceans Beyond Piracy said 80% of the cost is borne by the shipping industry with the remainder covered by governments.
It said the most notable cost was $2.7bn in fuel to allow ships to travel at higher speeds through high-risk areas, followed by $1.3bn for military operations and $1.1bn for armed guards and security equipment.
Another $635m are attributed to insurance, $486-680m are spent on re-routing vessels along the west coast of India, and $195m on increased labour costs and danger pay for seafarers, it said.
The average ransom paid climbed to $5m in 2011 from $4m in 2010, but total ransoms amounted to just $160m in 2011, accounting for just 2% of the total cost of piracy, according to the group.
Pirates operating from Somalia - which has been without a central government for two decades - carried out 237 attacks in 2011, more than half the world total, the London-based IMB Piracy Reporting Centre said last month.