LONDON, June 22 (UPI) -- A sponsor of a report on maritime piracy said at least part of the problem in the Gulf of Aden is due to political issues in Somalia.
A report by the International Maritime Organization stated that, while the number of hostages taken by pirates has gone down compared with last year, the level of violence attributed to the incidents remains high.
The report found also that the length of time in captivity for hostages has increased by 50 percent to an average of more than 8 months.
IMO found that more than 1,200 hostages were held by Somali pirates last year. Of those, 19 died in rescue attempts, eight were killed during the initial attack and eight died from disease or malnutrition.
The report indicated that thousands of people were attacked by Somali pirates for ransom.
Marcel Arsenault, chairman of the One Earth Future Foundation, which sponsored the IMO report, said the lack of adequate state institutions in Somali is partially to blame.
"The desperate situation in Somalia continues to breed piracy," he said in a statement from London.
There hasn't been a functioning central government in Somalia since the 1990s. The interim administration has made gains against militant group al-Shabaab, though it lacks some functioning capacity. The mandate for the interim administration ends in August.