Yemen's $250 million loss from Somali pirates
 piracy SomaliIt's not only cruising sailors and international shipping that are affected by Somali pirates. Until around 2006 Yemeni was just as productive of opportunist pirates as Somalia, but now is one of its greatest victims.

A report released by Yemen authorities has said piracy attacks against vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden had caused them US$150 million in the local fish sector in 2009, and that the waters of Yemen are now not safe to sail.

In recent years, Yemen has done its best to curb piracy, first using its coast guard to prevent Yemeni fishermen from turning opportunistic pirate, and then setting up three coordination centres to assist international forces.

However, the report showed that Yemen was deeply affected by piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden despite the presence of the international naval task forces in the region.

It also indicated that piracy attacks have increased twice in 2009, compared with the two previous years.

'In 2009 piracy attacks reached 47 while piracy attempts were 181, compared to 42 piracy attacks and 69 attempts in 2008, and 25 attacks and 16 piracy attempts in 2007,' the government said in the report.

In the last years the government has stepped up its efforts. It said it has arrested 48 pirates in 2009; including 30 pirates who were handed over to Yemen authorities.

'The total number of pirates who have been arrested by the Yemeni Coastguard forces is 12 pirates as well as six pirates were arrested recently,' the report numbered.

by Muhyadin Ahmed Roble/Sail-World Cruising