The latest update from ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) states that during the first nine months of 2021 piracy and armed robberies of ships are at nearly 30 years’ low. IMB has however warned against complacency and has asked for involved parties to continue their efforts combating crime and highlighting areas of increased danger. The IMB report highlighted that Nigeria only reported 4 incidents of piracy or armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021 whereas, in 2020, there were 17 incidents reported.
In the past year world’s attention was drawn to the Gulf of Guinea as it reported 46 robbery/piracy incidents whereas there were only 28 incidents reported in the first nine months of 2021. This year in the third quarter there was only one incident where a crew member was kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea whereas for the same quarter last year a total of 31 crew members were kidnapped in the region. The IMB report also highlights the progress made in Indonesian water where a four-fold decline was noticed. Globally there was a declining trend in piracy as only 97 incidents were reported as compared to 132 last year.
Michael Howlett, Director, ICC International Maritime Bureau welcomed the decline of piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea. Crediting the efforts of maritime authorities in the region for success, Mr. Howlett said there is a need of continuing the efforts to ensure the safety of seafarers. He also asked the Coastal States to increase their coordination and security efforts to further improve the safety and security in the region.
The report was not all about the decline in piracy as it also highlighted the worrying signs in Singapore Straits and the concerns cropping up off the coast of Peru. This year with 20 incidents Singapore Strait witnessed the highest number of armed robberies since 1991. Although the incidents were low-level thefts, IMB has warned that the perpetrators pose a serious threat to vessels and seafarers. In Peru, the Callao Anchorage saw an increase in pirate activities, and 15 incidents were reported in 2021. Similar to the Singapore Strait, in Peru as well, the incidents were low level but IMB has warned that attackers possess a risk of carrying out a violent attack.
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