Officials say 47 countries trying to block attacks, pirates far less successful off Somalia.
The State Department says that the United States and 46 other countries have made a significant dent in the percentage of successful pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa. Although the number of pirate attacks is on the rise, fewer of those attacks are successful.
The State Department reported Thursday that pirate attacks jumped from 19 in 2007 to 122 in 2008. There were 198 attacks last year, but just 50 ships were actually seized last year ? about 25 percent of those attacked. That compares to 12 successes or about 60 percent in 2007.
The department said Somali pirates now hold seven major vessels and about 160 crew members hostage.
Each year, approximately 33,000 commercial ships traverse the Gulf of Aden, making it among the world's busiest shipping corridors.