A maritime watchdog says world sea piracy fell for a third straight year in 2013 as Somali pirates were curbed by international naval patrols and improved ship vigilance.

The International Maritime Bureau says Wednesday that attacks fell to their lowest in six years to 264. That was down from 297 in 2012 and 439 in 2011.

Pirate attacks have declined since hitting a peak in 2010 with 445 attacks.

The bureau says 12 vessels were hijacked, with more than 300 crew members taken hostage and one killed during 2013.

It attributes the drop in global attacks to a sharp decrease in Somali piracy. Only 15 attacks were reported off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, down from 75 cases in 2012 and 237 in 2011.