The spokesman for the European Union's anti-piracy force says Somali pirates have hijacked a Pakistan-flagged fishing vessel.

Cmdr. John Harbour says the pirates seized the MV Shahbaig Tuesday. He says there are 29 crew on board and more details will be available later Wednesday.

Pirates are still holding hundreds of crew and a dozen vessels hostage in Somalia. Piracy has remained at high levels this year despite a growing number of international warships and extra safety precautions taken by merchant vessels.

Somalia does not have a coast guard or navy to stop the pirates because it has not had an effective central government for 18 years.