The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is calling for regional and international players to sustain their efforts, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea, as global piracy and armed robbery incidents reach their lowest levels since 1992. ICC IMB’s latest global quarterly piracy report details 90 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the first nine months of 2022, the lowest recorded figure in three decades.
Perpetrators were successful in gaining access to the vessels in 95% of the reported incidents which broke down as 85 vessels boarded, four attempted attacks, and one vessel hijacked. In many of the cases vessels were either at anchor or steaming when boarded, with nearly all the incidents occurring during the hours of darkness. Though these are amongst the lowest reports in decades, violence to crew continues with 27 crew taken hostage, six assaulted and five threatened. Of the 90 global piracy and armed robbery incidents, 13 have been reported in the Gulf of Guinea region – compared to 27 over the same period of 2021 – signaling a positive and significant decline in the number of reported incidents in the region off west Africa which emerged as the world’s biggest piracy hotspot in recent years.
A Global Phenomenon
IMB Director Michael Howlett said: “We commend the efforts of the coastal authorities of the Gulf of Guinea. While the decline is welcome, sustained and continued efforts of the coastal authorities and the presence of the international navies remain essential to safeguard seafarers…”.
Incidents in the Singapore Straits continue to increase with 31 reports in the first nine months of 2022, compared to 21 in the same period last year. Vessels underway, including several large vessels and tankers, were boarded in all 31 reports and in most cases, ship stores or properties were stolen. The number of reports from Callao anchorage in Peru has dropped from 15 in the first nine months of 2021 to eight in 2022. Additionally, five incidents have been reported at Macapa Anchorage, Brazil including one on 30 August.
The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre also believes there is a degree of underreporting as well as late reporting of incidents from these waters and encourages Masters to report all incidents as early as possible so that local authorities are able to identify, investigate and apprehend the perpetrators.
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