Pirates' bounty hurts business

The rising wave of piracy will force businesses to pay a rising “piracy tax” to maintain trading networks, according to insurer Lloyd's of London. The cost will come as a further blow to ship-owners, who will have to protect themselves from ransoms which can be as high as £2m, and other costs including delays in releasing ships and increased insurance premiums. Rogue crews have defied the downturn by seizing more than 60 vessels and earning £48m in ransoms. Somali pirates have been responsible for a doubling of attacks on ships.