A UN study on piracy has urged for stronger security and the establishment of a pirate court.

The report from former French minister Jack Lang said that piracy off the coast of Somalia is costing the world over $7bn annually in terms of military force, lost merchandise, ransom fees and insurance.

The report recommended that a court under Somali jurisdiction, but located in a different country, would help deal with piracy.

The report also suggested that the international naval force in the Indian Ocean should conduct patrols closer to the pirates’ coastal locations.

In addition, the report recommended that Somali youth in lawless areas such as Puntland and Somaliland be offered economic incentives to help keep them away from joining the pirates.

The report said that if the international community does not act with extreme urgency, the pirate economy off the coast of Somalia will “continue to prosper until it reaches the point of no return”.