Somali coastguards patrol the Indian Ocean waters near the capital Mogadishu in this 2009 file photo.

Nairobi, Kenya - A UK-led Piracy Ransom Task Force says the shipping industry must adopt additional measures to ensure that payments aren't made to pirates after a successful attack against ships.

The task force's final recommendations noted that more than $300 million has been paid to Somali pirates in ransom since 2008.

Successful piracy attacks off Somalia have dropped precipitously over the last year, mainly because of increased co-ordination from international navies and because ships are increasing their defences, including the use of armed guards.

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the task force's final findings, which were released late on Tuesday. Cameron said the dramatic reduction in pirate activity over the last year showed how important collective action at sea was. - Sapa-AP