Maritime Piracy on the Increase
Sea Freight

Maritime Piracy on the Increase

2018 sees major growth in incidents of ship-jacking 

A total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 121 for the same period in 2017, showing an increase in maritime piracy.

A total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 121 for the same period in 2017.

The Middle East has proved to be largely safe, with only 1 attack
The Middle East has proved to be largely safe, with only 1 attack

The 2018 figure is broken down as 107 vessels boarded, 32 attempted attacks, 13 vessels fired upon and four vessels hijacked—although no vessels were reported as hijacked in the third quarter of 2018.

This is first time since 1994 when no vessel hijackings have been reported in two consecutive quarters.

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Nevertheless, incidents of this crime persist, with the number of crew members held hostage increasing in comparison to the same period in 2017—from 80 incidents to 112 by the third quarter of 2018.

Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, said: “While the record low number of hijackings in the second and third quarters of 2018 is of course to be celebrated, incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery remain common.

“ICC urges governments to leverage the timely data available from the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre to concentrate resources in these hotspots.”

Maritime Piracy on the Increase

Statistically, the Gulf of Guinea accounts for 57 of the 156 reported incidents.

While most of these incidents have been reported in and around Nigeria (41), the Nigerian Navy has actively responded and dispatched patrol boats when incidents have been reported promptly.

There has also been a noticeable increase in the number of vessels boarded at the Takoradi anchorage, in Ghana.

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