Last year was the worst on record for piracy at sea, according to a report issued earlier this week.
Pirates captured 1,181 sailors aboard 53 ships in 2010, according to the report from the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau. Eight of the captives were killed, the report said.
Ships reported 445 pirate attacks in 2010, a 10 percent increase from 2009.
"These figures for the number of hostages and vessels taken are the highest we have ever seen," said Capt. Pottengal Mukundan, director of the bureau's Piracy Reporting Center. "The continued increase in these numbers is alarming."
The waters off the coast of Somalia remain the most dangerous in the world, as 49 ships were captured there - 92-percent of all ships taken, according to the report.
A total of 28 vessels and 638 hostages were still being held for ransom by Somali pirates as of Dec. 31, the report states.