Piracy and armed robbery continue to decline

There were 180 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in 2017, according to the latest IMB report.

It is the lowest annual number of incidents since 1995, when 188 reports were received. In 2017, 136 vessels were boarded, while there were 22 attempted attacks, 16 vessels fired upon and six vessels hijacked. In 15 separate incidents, 91 crewmembers were taken hostage and 75 were kidnapped from their vessels in 13 other incidents. Three crewmembers were killed in 2017 and six injured.

In 2016, a total of 191 incidents were reported, with 150 vessels boarded and 151 crewmembers taken hostage.

“Although the number of attacks is down this year in comparison with last year, the Gulf of Guinea and the waters around Nigeria remain a threat to seafarers. The Nigerian authorities have intervened in a number of incidents helping to prevent incidents from escalating,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB.

Nine incidents were recorded off Somalia in 2017, up from two in 2016.

Indonesia recorded 43 incidents in 2017, down from 49 in 2016. The IMB report noted that Indonesian Marine Police patrols continue to be effective in the country’s 10 designated safe anchorages.

In the Philippines, however, the number of reported incidents more than doubled, from 10 in 2016 to 22 in 2017. According to the report, the majority of these incidents were low-level attacks on anchored vessels, mainly at the ports of Manila and Batangas.