Maritime piracy costs the global shipping industry anywhere from $3.5bn to upwards of $8bn a year, according to Ron Widdows, group president of Neptune Orient Lines and chairman of the World Shipping Council.
Widdows gave his estimate to a conference on piracy in Dubai that opened just days after the International Maritime Bureau, a maritime watchdog, said worldwide pirate attacks in the first three months of 2011 reached the highest quarterly number ever at 142.
The sharp rise was driven by a surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia, where 97 attacks were recorded in the first quarter of 2011, up from 35 in the same period last year.
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