In the first nine months of 2021, the piracy and armed robberies of ships and their crews attained nearly 30 years now as per the recent information from the International Maritime Bureau, a specialized department of the International Chamber of commerce. IMB’s recent global piracy report registered 97 incidents of piracy and armed robbery for the first nine months of 2021 – the lowest level of reported incidents since 1994. In 2021, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) reported 85 vessels boarded, nine attempted attacks, two ships fired upon, and one vessel hijacked.
The Gulf of Guinea, the biggest hotspot of piracy & robberies, seems to be stable now as there is a reduction in the number of litigations as compared to the past years. As per the reports of IMB's there are only 28 incidents of piracy & armed robberies in the first nine months of 2021 while there are a total of 46 incidents reported under the same period in 2020. Nigeria has reported only four incidents in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 17 in 2020 & 41 in 2018.
Simultaneously, there is a drop in the abduction cases as well. The Gulf of Guinea reported only one crew member kidnapped in Q3 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during Q3 2020...
The director of the ICC International Maritime Bureau said that “We welcome the decrease of piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and the efforts taken by maritime authorities in the region,” But still there is a requirement to integrate efforts to further reduce the Piracy & armed robberies incidents & coastal states to double there security & management to ensure an endless deterioration in Piracy and armed robberies cases in future.
There was a noticeable reduction in the number of incidents in Indonesian waters too. The data shows only six low-level incidents were reported in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 23 incidents during the same period in 2020, says IMB. The IMB moreover informed that “This is the lowest total of reported piracy and armed robbery incidents in Indonesian waters since 1993,” and also appreciates the efforts taken by the Indonesian Marine Police.
The report also brings into light the most difficult areas of modification and also notes worrying clues in Singapore Straits and concerns off the coast of Peru. The Singapore Straits reported 20 incidents of armed robbery, the highest number recorded since 1991. Reported incidents are up from 15 in 2020 and just one incident in 2019. While these attacks are low-level and opportunistic, IMB warns that the perpetrators pose a direct threat to seafarers and vessels underway. In four incidents, the crew was either threatened, assaulted, or injured.
Globally, the trend shows powerful progress with a total of 97 incidents of piracy and armed robbery for the first nine months of 2021, down from 132 a year ago. The 2021 level is the lowest reported incident since 1994.
According to the latest statistics of the IMB about 50 crew members were kidnapped from that about 8 taken hostage, 5 were threatened, 3 were injured, 2 were assaulted & 1 was killed. This report shows though there is a decline in the cases yet violence against the seafarers continues.
The numbers of these cases also differed from vessel to vessel as per the IMB, the Bulk carriers have reported the highest number of attacks at 34 incidents in the nine months. The other types of vessels, containers & tankers also reported about 22 & 24 attacks, and the same in each category of shipping. Similarly, according to the report, the vessels at the anchorage were slightly more frequently targeted with 50 incidents as compared to 40 incidents for vessels that are underway, and only seven vessels reported attacks at the berth
Despite all these report results, the IMB warns that the crews were still at high risk and required efforts should be taken for their safety in the future and IMB also highlighted the effort to face the current scenario as also some methods which can be applied in the future.