Piracy attacks off West Africa nearly doubled in 2016

A new report says pirate attacks off West Africa's coast almost doubled in 2016, with the majority occurring off Nigeria.

The Oceans Beyond Piracy maritime project said Tuesday that incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea off West Africa increased from 54 in 2015 to 95 in 2016.

The report says pirates in the region are increasingly using kidnapping for ransom. Lead author Maisie Pigeon says that model offers financial gain with less risk than hijacking for cargo theft.

There was only one incident of cargo theft hijacking in 2016.

The report says more than two-thirds of all reported incidents in the region took place off Nigeria.

The report also notes the recent return of piracy off Somalia and blames "decreased vigilance" by the international community.