Shipping operators should be forced to buy cover against rising levels of piracy, MPs have been told (writes Daniel Bentley, Parliamentary correspondent).

The Commons Transport Committee, which is investigating piracy on the high seas, was told last week that attacks were increasing.

In written evidence to the committee, maritime security management firm Marine Impact said the International Maritime Organisation should insist on insurance.

Consultant, Steven Jones, said: "With the increase in seafarers being kidnapped and held for ransom we believe that all shipowners and operators should be obliged to place insurance cover to protect the interests of their crews in the event of such attacks.

"We strongly believe that the IMO should call for industry-wide adoption, usage and provision of such facilities."

The Chamber of Shipping complained to the committee about rising insurance premiums in areas where pirates are most prolific.