Global piracy and robberies at near 30-year low
The Gulf of Guinea and the Singapore Strait are most prone to piracy, says piracy monitoring group
Violence against crews continues, with 23 seafarers taken hostage and a further five threatened in the first half of 2022
GLOBAL piracy and armed robbery incidents are at the lowest level since 1994, according to the ICC International Maritime Bureau.
There were 58 reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the first half of 2022, compared with 68 during the same period in the past year, according to the IMB’s latest report.
Fifty-five vessels were boarded, two were attempted attacks, and one vessel was hijacked.
“Not only is this good news for the seafarers and the shipping industry, it is positive news for trade which promotes economic growth,” said IMB director Michael Howlett. “We encourage governments and responding authorities to continue their patrols which create a deterrent effect.”
While no crew members were kidnapped during the period, violence against crews and the threat to crews continues, with 23 crew taken hostage and a further five threatened.
The Gulf of Guinea and the Singapore Strait are the two areas most prone to piracy, accounting for almost half of the 58 incidents reported, the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre said.
There were 12 attacks reported in the Gulf of Guinea between January and June, down from 23 in the same period in the past year.
The Singapore Strait accounted for more than 25% of all incidents reported globally since the start of the year. Sixteen vessels were boarded and weapons were used in at least six incidents.
Outside the Singapore Strait, the Indonesian archipelago has seen a slight increase in reported incidents for the first time since 2018, with seven incidents in the first six months compared with five in the same period in the past year.
Five vessels were boarded at anchor and one each while the vessels were at berth and steaming. Weapons were reported in at least three incidents, with one crew reported threatened.
The threat of piracy still exists in the waters off the southern Red Sea and in the Gulf of Aden, which include the Yemeni and Somali coasts, according to the report.
Although the opportunity for incidents has reduced, Somali pirates continue to possess the capability and capacity to carry out incidents, it warns.