World piracy and armed theft numbers decreased in 2021, based on the Worldwide Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC). Its newest annual report reveals a 32% drop in total assaults in 2021 in comparison with 2020. The drop is primarily attributed to decreased exercise throughout the Gulf of Guinea area, and Nigerian waters particularly. A take a look at the figures additionally reveals that solely two incidents have been recorded throughout the African continent outdoors the Gulf of Guinea area, in comparison with 4 in 2020. The Regional Cooperation Settlement on Combating Piracy and Armed Theft towards Ships in Asia Data Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) reported a 15% lower within the whole variety of incidents in Asia in comparison with 2020.
The discount of reported incidents at regional ranges is welcome however main issues persist. The waters off West Africa stays a piracy hotspot. 2021 additionally noticed the pattern of armed robberies towards vessels within the Singapore Strait proceed, and no enhancements for theft incidents in South America. Incident stories from world wide point out that violence towards crew stays excessive in lots of areas.
The elevated presence of naval vessels and cooperation between regional authorities within the Gulf of Guinea has had a optimistic influence on the exercise reported inside that area – leading to a 60% drop in recorded incidents in comparison with 2020. Nevertheless, regardless of the lower of the whole quantity incidents within the Gulf of Guinea in 2021, the IMB PRC warns that the menace to harmless seafarers persists. Like in 2020, the area accounted for all kidnapping incidents globally, with 57 crew taken in seven separate incidents in 2021. A number of crews have been additionally taken hostage or injured within the area, with one crew member killed.
The IMB PRC’s figures point out that, total, incidents within the Gulf of Guinea are pretty evenly cut up between vessels steaming and vessels at anchorage/berth. As proven within the desk beneath, nearly all of kidnapping incidents nonetheless happen whereas vessels are steaming and might happen at nice distances from shore.
Nigeria recorded no kidnapping incidents in 2021 with the whole variety of incidents in its waters dropping greater than 80% in comparison with 2020. The nation stays one of many high 5 areas for incidents recorded within the Gulf of Guinea in 2021, along with Ghana, Sao Tome and Principe, Angola, and Gabon. It’s also value noting that each Luanda Anchorage, Angola, and Conakry Anchorage, Guinea, featured within the IMB PRC’s checklist of “Ports and anchorages with three or extra reported incidents in 2021”. That pattern could also be persevering with into 2022 because the IMB PRC reported three armed theft incidents from Luanda Anchorage through the first six weeks of 2022.
With just one incident reported from the Somali Basin and Gulf of Aden in 2021, the specter of assaults from Somali based mostly pirates seems to have decreased. This was additionally mirrored within the revision and discount of the ‘Excessive Threat Space’ in September 2021.Nonetheless, Somali pirates retain the aptitude and capability to hold out assaults and the IMB PRC continues to encourage Masters working within the area to be vigilant, significantly when transiting near the Somali coast. Though not piracy associated, maritime safety within the Southern Purple Sea, Bab al-Mandeb and Gulf of Aden can also be affected by the continuing battle in Yemen – a battle that’s primarily land based mostly however the place direct or collateral harm to service provider vessels working within the area can’t be dominated out. Please consult with our Yemen web site for added data.
Based on ReCAAP ISC, 82 incidents have been reported in Asia in 2021, in comparison with 97 in 2020. All falling with the ‘armed theft’ class. Whereas most areas in Asia skilled a discount in reported incidents, a sustained enhance within the recorded charge of incidents within the Singapore Strait continues to offer trigger for concern. ReCAAP ISC attracts consideration to the degrees of violence utilized by the perpetrators in the direction of the crew in incidents at Manila Anchorage areas within the Philippines. It additionally reminds the trade to not neglect concerning the persisting menace of abduction of crew within the Sulu-Celebes Seas space.
• Singapore Strait: A complete of 49 piracy incidents have been recorded within the Singapore Strait in 2021, in comparison with 34 in 2020. Nearly all of these occurred within the Strait’s eastbound lane, with bulk carriers essentially the most ceaselessly focused ship sort. Though crew weren’t harmed within the majority of those incidents, it’s not unusual for the perpetrators to be armed with knives, gun-like objects, and so forth. See additionally our alert Continued piracy exercise in Singapore Strait of 13 July 2021.
The adverse pattern within the Singapore Strait appears to proceed into 2022. Ten incidents have been reported from ships underway within the Singapore Strait between 1 January and 21 February 2022, seven of those from the eastbound lane. “For the reason that perpetrators should not arrested, there’s a risk of continued incidence of incidents within the Singapore Strait”, warns ReCAAP ISC in its Incident Alert of 21 February 2022.
• Manila Anchorage, Philippines: A complete of 9 incidents have been reported at Manila Anchorage areas in 2021. All befell through the dead nights, and 7 of the 9 concerned a container vessel. As highlighted in our alert “Thefts and robberies within the Philippines” of 29 September 2021, ReCAAP ISC expresses concern concerning the enhance within the violence demonstrated by the perpetrators in the direction of the crew in lots of of those incidents. On the optimistic aspect, ReCAAP ISC has obtained no incident stories from the Manila Anchorage space since September, after the Philippine authorities arrested a number of members of a legal group answerable for the incidents within the space.
• Sulu-Celebes Sea and jap Sabah area: No incidents of abduction of crew for ransom have been reported in these waters since January 2020. Nevertheless, ReCAAP ISC warns that the menace stays excessive because the because the leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group who have been answerable for the previous abduction incidents are nonetheless at massive. Further recommendation can also be offered in our alert Crew abductions in South-East Asia of 11 November 2021.
South and Central America and Caribbean waters
With a complete of 36 piracy and armed theft incidents recorded within the South and Central America and the Caribbean waters in 2021, the IMB PRC’s five-year statistics reveals no enhancements for this area. Six crew have been threatened, 4 taken hostage, and two assaulted within the area in 2021, based on the IMB PRC. Two container ships have been additionally approached and fired upon throughout their river passages in Ecuador within the final quarter of 2021.
The Callao Anchorage in Peru has been thought-about a theft hotspot for a few years and 2021 was no completely different. 18 incidents have been recorded on this Peruvian anchorage in 2021, greater than double the quantity in 2020, and the pattern reportedly continues into 2022. Price noting can also be the year-on-year enhance in incidents reported in Colombia, and the nation is as soon as once more that includes among the many high 5 areas for incidents recorded in South America in 2021.
The extent of menace from piracy and armed theft at sea, in addition to the chance for and modus operandi of the perpetrators, differs from one area to a different and may additionally change shortly. Previous to coming into any piracy inclined space, it is very important get hold of up to date data from native sources and safety specialists, evaluate the ship safety plan in gentle of the knowledge obtained, conduct a voyage particular threat evaluation, temporary and practice the crew and put together and check the ship’s emergency communication plans. Related preventive measures have to be adopted, following obtainable trade steerage and greatest administration practices (BMP), such because the BMP West Africa, BMP5, Regional Information to Counter Piracy and Armed Theft In opposition to Ships in Asia and World Counter Piracy Steerage for Corporations, Masters and Seafarers. The potential penalties of not following trade greatest practices could also be extreme when transiting areas vulnerable to piracy.
As ships could also be significantly weak when at anchor, ship masters and crew ought to train further vigilance when staying at high-risk ports/anchorages. Do not forget that a correct lookout is taken into account some of the efficient strategies of ship safety. It will probably assist establish a suspicious strategy or assault at an early stage, permitting defences to be deployed.
Supply: Gard, https://www.gard.no/net/updates/content material/33156646/piracy-trends-and-hotspots