In accordance with the annual piracy report printed lately by the ICC Worldwide Maritime Bureau (IMB), piracy and armed theft at sea final 12 months has reached an all-time low since 1994. However the risk stays.
The report exhibits that in 2021, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre recorded a complete of 132 incidents towards ships. Out of those, 115 vessels have been boarded, 11 have been tried assaults, 5 vessels have been fired upon and 1 vessel was hijacked.
“The general lower in incidents doesn’t imply that the piracy has been virtually eradicated,” commented Wilfried Lemmens, Managing Director of the Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Affiliation. “A number of components equivalent to the worldwide pandemic, the lower in maritime site visitors, and the elevated presence of worldwide together with European naval vessels in particular excessive threat zones all contributed to decrease numbers final 12 months.”
A more in-depth examination of the report additional confirms this view:
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The Gulf of Guinea stays the world’s piracy hotspot because it nonetheless accounts for all of the kidnapping incidents globally, regardless of seeing a lower of reported incidents from 81 in 2020 to 34 in 2021.
Vital lower in actions additionally befell exterior Somalia. Because of Operation ATALANTA, a mixed effort of the Federal Authorities of Somalia and the naval forces of EU Member States, coordinated by the EU’s Exterior Motion Service, piracy has persistently been suppressed to make sure peace and stability from the Horn of Africa to the Gulf of Aden.
The Straits of Singapore alternatively reported 35 instances, the very best since 1992.
Central and South Americas likewise reported a rise of armed assaults at sea, from 30 in 2020 to 36 in 2021. Essentially the most dramatic improve befell within the anchorage of Callao in Peru, the place reported instances greater than doubled from 8 in 2020 to 18 in 2021.
It’s subsequently clear that the decrease figures don’t inform the complete story: Pirates nonetheless have the capability to strike, and they’ll at any time when the chance arises.
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Mr Lemmens additional defined:
“Belgian shipowners prolong their gratitude to the Belgian Navy, the naval forces of different EU Member States concerned within the EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA for his or her continued efforts and vigilance. The IMB report clearly demonstrates that the suppression of piracy can solely succeed with the shut collaboration between governments and the presence of worldwide protection vessels.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the strategic significance of delivery in sustaining international provide chains. Seafarers are our unsung heroes in securing our provides and have gone by way of excessive difficulties with crew adjustments. They don’t need to have their lives risked for merely doing their job.”
With the mandate of Operation ATALANTA Somalia coming to a detailed on the finish of 2022, the Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Affiliation joins different shipowners’ associations in calling for an extension. The RBSA additionally totally helps the EU’s plan to extend the Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) mandates for the continued patrol of the Gulf of Guinea by European naval ships, which have been serving to West African navies in responding to such threats on the excessive seas.
Supply: Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Affiliation