Piracy down to 1996 levels says IMB in Q3 report

With just 42 attacks worldwide in Q3, piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1996, says the International Maritime Bureau in its latest report.

There have been 141 reported incidents in the first nine months of 2016, with 111 ships boarded, 15 attempted attacks, five vessels hijacked and 10 vessels fired upon. This represents a 25% decrease from the same period in 2015.

IMB reports that 110 crew members were taken hostage – down from 266 in the same period last year — five were assaulted, six injured and 49 kidnapped.

The main bulk of the 141 reported incidents for 2016 occurred in Indonesia, Nigeria and India, with Peru and Vietnam following some way behind in fourth and fifth.

There were 33 reported attacks in Indonesia in the first nine months of 2016, down from 86 for the same period last year. “Attacks in Southeast Asia tend to be low-level in nature and take place at night”, IMB said.

Kidnappings and armed theft remain the main concerns in Gulf of Guinea/Nigeria. There have been 31 reported incidents – up from 12 in the same period last year. Thirteen seafarers have been taken hostage onboard, while 29 have been kidnapped. “Nigerian attacks are often violent, accounting for eight of the 10 vessels fired upon worldwide”. The IMB thinks that there are significantly more attacks than those reported.

There has only been one attempted attack in Gulf of Aden/Somalia in the first nine months of the year, indicating the extent to which this once major home of pirate attacks has been successfully quietened through co-ordinated campaigns against the Somalia-based pirate groups.

The main ship-types affected were; 36 bulk carrier incidents, 36 product tanker incidents, 11 tanker incidents, nine container incidents and eight chemical tanker incidents.