Some 18 ships and over 310 crew members are believed to be held by pirates off the coast of Somalia, according to the International Maritime Bureau, NATO and others. A look at the ships still being held:
_ AUG 4: Pirates seize a Nigerian tug, the Yenagoa Ocean, with 11 crew members.
_ NOV. 10: Pirates hijack a Philippines chemical tanker, the MT Stolt Strength, with 23 crew members.
_ DEC. 16: Pirates seize a Malaysian tugboat with 11 Indonesian crew members.
_ FEB. 22: Pirates take a Greek-owned cargo ship, the Saldanha, with a 22-member crew, off Somalia’s coast. The crew’s nationalities are unknown.
_ FEB. 28: State broadcaster in the Seychelles reports that Somali pirates hijacked the Serenity, a yacht with two Seychelles nationals on board.
_ MARCH 25: Pirates seize Panama-registered, Greek-owned Nipayia with 18 Filipino crew members and a Russian captain.
_ APRIL 1: Tour operator says pirates seized a tourist yacht and its crew of seven near the Seychelles. The Indian Ocean Explorer had dropped off its tourists before it was seized.
_ APRIL 4: Pirates hijack German freighter Hansa Stavanger. It has 24 crew members: five Germans, three Russians, two Ukrainians, two Filipinos and 12 Tuvalus.
_ APRIL 4: Pirates seize Taiwanese ship, Win Far 161, near the Seychelles islands. It has a crew of 30, including 17 Filipinos, six Indonesians, five Chinese and two Taiwanese.
_ APRIL 5: Pirates hijack Yemeni fishing boat with 13 crew members in the Gulf of Aden.
_ APRIL 6: British-owned bulk carrier, the Malaspina Castle, hijacked in the Gulf of Aden. It is carrying a crew of 24 from Bulgaria, the Philippines, Russia and Ukraine.
_ APRIL 6: Pirates seize Taiwanese fishing boat with 30 crew off eastern Somalia.
_ APRIL 11: Pirates seize Italian tugboat off Somalia’s north coast. Ten of the 16 crew members are Italian. The others are five Romanians and a Croatian.
_ APRIL 14: Officials say two Egyptian fishing boats have been hijacked with a total of 36 crew. Boats seized either April 12 or 13th, it is not clear.
_ APRIL 14: Pirates seize Greek-managed bulk carrier, the MV Irene E.M., in a rare overnight attack. The St.-Vincent and Grenadines-flagged ship with at least 21 Filipino seamen was sailing from Jordan to India.
_ APRIL 14: Pirates capture the Lebanese-owned cargo ship the MV Sea Horse with 19 crew aboard.
_ APRIL 18: Pirates seize a Belgian dredger, the Pompei, with two Belgians, a Dutch, three Filipinos and four Croatians onboard.