Somali pirates have secured over $60m in ransom payments from ship owners in the last year, according to a new report.

Nearly 300 crew members and 47 vessels were also seized by pirates in 2009, the Seafarers’ Assistance Programme report said.

Somali pirates recently hijacked the Greek-flagged tanker VLCC Maran Centauru off the Somali coast.

The pirates currently have over 11 ships and more than 280 hostages in their custody, the report said.

So far this year pirates have continued attacking vessels sailing in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.