2018 saw an increase in Maritime Piracy

Maritime piracy has been reported to have increased increased globally in 2018, especially in the Western Africa region. This report has come up in the latest piracy report of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) of the International Chamber of Commerce. 

The Piracy Reporting Centre of International Maritime Bureau has recorded 201 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in 2018. In 2017, the numbers stood only at 180. Of all the seas, the Gulf of Guinea remains most dangerous for seafarers with a total of 46 attacks.  

The report calls upon the governments and other agencies associated with it to report any incident of piracy along the Gulf of Guinea. Apart from this, it also asks the shipping industry also to report the same.  The report said that piracy attacks between Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of Congo doubled in 2018.

The region accounted for six hijackings, thirteen of the eighteen ships fired upon, 130 out of the 141 hostages taken around the world and 78 of  the 83 seafarers kidnapped for ransom. The report also said that 41 kidnappings were recorded off Nigeria alone in the last three months of 2018. 

Talking of Nigeria, the International Maritime Bureau reports of 41 kidnappings in the last three months of 2018.  In the Nigerian waters, all types of vessels are targeted, the report said. As far as Somali Threat is concerned, the report said that no ships were hijacked in the region last year. However, Somalian pirates fired upon a suezmax tanker and a product tanker in the Gulf of Aden. A bulk carrier was also capsized nearly 300 miles from the Somali coastline.

With respect to piracy in the waters near Indonesia, the report said that there was a deep decrease in the number of incidents. The reports from Indonesia were of low level thefts, it said. There were also reports of six crew of having taken as hostage. However, the IMB has raised concern in the sea off Malaysia. In Bangladesh, the report notes of attacks on anchored ships at Chittagong anchorage.  

While  the Indian Sub Continet witnessed nine attacks, east and South east Asia reported 34 attacks. Red Sea area, east Coast Somalia and Arabian sea reported one attack each.

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