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MB: Global piracy drops by 42 % in Q1 2019

The first quarter of 2019 saw fewer incidents
of piracy and armed robbery against ships, compared to the first three months
of 2018, a report shows.

According to the report issued by the
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB),
there were 38 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the first quarter
of this year.
This represents 28 fewer incidents or a
decrease of 42.4 percent, compared to the corresponding period last year when
66 incidents were recorded.
IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre detailed that
27 vessels were boarded, seven vessels were fired upon and four attempted
attacks occurred in Q1 2019. No vessels were reported as hijacked for the first
time since the first quarter of 1994.
“These latest statistics from the IMB Piracy
Reporting Centre are encouraging. However, first quarter statistics is too
short a period on which to anticipate trends over the year,” 
Pottengal Mukundan, IMB Director, said.
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 BeninCameroon, 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.
The country 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
In Asia, Indonesia witnessed a drop 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.
The declining rate of piracy incidents
worldwide in the first quarter of 2019 reinforces the importance of
transparency, communication and coordination between vessels and coastal
authorities, IMB stressed.
By reporting all incidents to the IMB Piracy
Reporting Centre and coastal authorities, the response can be better organized
improving incident response times and prompt advice to vessels aimed at a more
optimal use of resources. National governments and coastal authorities can use
this data to collaborate and strengthen their piracy prevention efforts, IMB
further said.
World Maritime News.

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