Pirate attacks off the Somali coast have declined by more than 54 per cent, helping soften the cost of insurance premiums for shipping companies, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) statistics.

Year-to-date there have been 225 global attacks on commercial and private vessels, with 70 recorded attacks off the Somali coast, according to IMB’s September figures.

The fall in attacks follows increased use of private armed security contractors on board vessels, as well as increased patrolling by naval forces. However, the legitimacy of private contractors has been brought into question by regulatory bodies.

Piracy is said to cost global trade up to $12bn annually.