The Philippines has ordered its sailors, who constitute about a third of the world’s commercial sailors, to receive anti-piracy training, Labour Secretary Marianito Roque has announced.

The training, which lasts about eight hours, will be mandatory starting from 15 January, reports the Associated Press.

The measure is a response to a wave of ship hijackings, which remain a serious problem in the region.

Sailors will be taught how to use fire hoses and manoeuvre their vessels to prevent pirates from boarding them.

They will also learn how to manage hostage crises if they are taken captive.

Pirates operating off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest sea lanes, have hijacked more than 80 ships in the past two years.