Maritime piracy incidents down in Q1 2019, kidnapping risk in Gulf of Guinea persistsChristian Fernsby ▼ | April 10, 2019
The International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) report for the first quarter of 2019 reveals fewer incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships than the first three months of 2018.
World The Gulf of Guinea represented a high number of piracy
IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre detailed that 27 vessels were boarded, seven vessels were fired upon and four attempted attacks occurred in the first quarter of 2019.
No vessels were reported as hijacked for the first time since the first quarter of 1994.
The Gulf of Guinea represented a high number of piracy and armed robbery attacks at sea, with 22 incidents reported in the first quarter of 2019.
The region also accounted for all of the worldwide crew kidnappings as 21 crew members were kidnapped across five separate incidents.
Incidents were reported in the coastal countries, of Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo in the first quarter of 2019.
Nigeria has been a hotspot for piracy incidents over the past decade.
However, in the first quarter of 2019, Nigeria experienced a decrease in reported piracy incidents.
Nigeria reported 14 incidents of piracy for Q1 2019, in comparison to 22 incidents in Q1 2018.
These results confirm the Nigerian Navy’s increased efforts to “actively respond to reported incidents by dispatching patrol boats,” the report notes.
Despite these efforts, Nigerian waters remain risky for vessels, especially the port of Lagos where four incidents have been reported.
In Asia, Indonesia witnessed a decrease in piracy activities for the first quarter of 2019.
There were only three incidents reported against anchored vessels in ports in Indonesia – the fewest reported incidents since 2010 – according to the report.
As with Nigeria, increased cooperation and information sharing between the Indonesian Marine Police and IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has enabled regular patrols in high-risk areas. ■