All necessary measures must be taken to punish and prosecute pirates, and governments should adopt a multinational approach to fight the problem, according to the US ambassador to Greece, Daniel Smith.
Speaking at the US Department of Commerce's maritime anti-piracy seminar held at Posidonia, Mr Smith criticised the reluctance of certain governments not to pursue cases and said the US was co-operating to implement new prosecution measures.
"Piracy used to be an ad hoc endeavour but it has now become a highly developed criminal enterprise," he said. "Unless prosecution is enhanced pirates will continue to reap the rewards."
Mr Smith said that ransom demands were steadily increasing and said anti-piracy efforts were now focused on "following the money".
Mr Smith told shipowners that they simply could not afford not to employ the latest best management practices and added that a vast majority of vessels that had been successfully hijacked in the past had failed to comply with BMP4