Pirate attacks and shipping lanes

Here is a map of pirate attacks at sea between 2008 and 2013 (brown dots) at the four  main hot-spots: the Gulf of Aden, the East coast of Somalia, the Gulf of Guinea, and the Indonesian archipelago.  The blue lines are commercial shipping routes based on the work of Halpern et al., 2015.  What’s immediately interesting to me is that pirates seem to avoid major shipping lanes except at geographical choke points (the Gulf of Aden and Strait of Malacca).

Figure 1 - Map of attacks

It’s also important to note that today much of the major reported piracy in East and West Africa has stopped.  Piracy off the coast of Somalia declined dramatically starting in 2012, and since 2014, the West African piracy incidents also declined.  Maritime piracy remains active in Southeast Asia, although piracy has gone down globally in the last few years.