One of the main maritime security threats in Southeast Asia is Piracy. While piracy has been a perennial problem, this threat has received increasing attention in the region over the past few years. Reports published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as well as the International Maritime Bureau show an alarming number of piratical acts in Southeast Asian waters over the past decade. Southeast Asia had the second highest number of piracy attacks in the world from 2008–2012. Only the African Region transcended Southeast Asia in the number of attacks. This is concerning because the geographical location of the region is very important to world trade. Southeast Asia contains several highly-trafficked sea lanes and straits which are used for international trade. Indeed, five out of the twenty-five busiest ports in the world are located in Southeast Asia.
Fortunately, states are making serious efforts at the international as well as regional level to combat piracy. This essay explores some of the international and regional efforts that countries in Southeast Asia have made to fight piracy and identifies some of their benefits and shortcomings.