As piracy on the world’s seas continues to fall, new figures from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) highlight growing violence off the coast of West Africa, where 44 seafarers have been captured so far this year.
Worldwide, IMB recorded 37 piracy and armed robbery incidents in the first quarter of 2016, down from 54 in the same period last year. Three vessels were hijacked and 29 boarded, with 26 crew kidnapped for ransom and a further 28 held hostage.
With Nigeria and Ivory Coast accounting for two of the three hijackings recorded globally, and all 28 hostages, the Gulf of Guinea dominates world piracy in terms of numbers and severity. Additionally the region saw 16 crew kidnapped from chemical and product tankers in four separate incidents. Ten attacks were reported off Nigeria alone, all involving guns.
“Reports in the last quarter indicate unacceptable violence against ships and crews in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly around Nigeria. The current increase in kidnappings is a cause for great concern,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, who has monitored world piracy since 1991. Read more