The number of
crew members taken hostage increased from 63 in the first half of 2017 to 102
in the first half of 2018, the second quarterly report from the ICC
International Maritime Bureau (IMB) shows.
The report says that all 2018 crew kidnappings have so far taken
place in the Gulf of Guinea in six separate incidents.
A total of 107 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting
Centre (PRC) during the six-month period.
In total, 69 vessels were boarded, with 23 attempted attacks, 11
vessels fired upon and four vessels hijacked. No vessels were reported as
hijacked in the second quarter.
The number of crew kidnappings decreased from 41 by the second
quarter in 2017 to 25 so far in 2018. However, all 25 crew kidnappings reported
this year have occurred over six incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, highlighting
the higher risks in this area.
Moreover, the true number of incidents in the Gulf of Guinea is
believed to be “significantly higher” than what is reported to the IMB PRC,
says the report.
“The 2018 figures aptly
demonstrate the value of timely and transparent reporting. The reports help to
focus on risk areas, and to accurately inform vessels of evolving dangers and
allow authorities to deliver an effective response,” Pottengal
Mukundan, Director of IMB, said.
Outside the Gulf of Guinea, the number of 2018 incidents decreased
in other piracy hotspots.
There were no reported incidents recorded off the coast of Somalia
in the second quarter of 2018.
The number of incidents in the Philippines dropped from 13 by the
second quarter of 2017 to three in the same time period this year.