The International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) latest piracy report revealed that recorded incidents of piracy are at their lowest level in three decades.
According to the report, which tracked piracy incidents from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2022 and is released quarterly by the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB), there were a total of 90 attacks throughout the world. Of those attacks, 85 vessels were boarded, four attacks were thwarted, and a single vessel was hijacked. Twenty-seven crew members were taken hostage during the period.
According to the IMB, “Of the 90 global piracy and armed robbery incidents, 13 have been reported in the Gulf of Guinea region – compared to 27 over the same period of 2021 – signaling a positive and significant decline in the number of reported incidents in the region off West Africa which emerged as the world’s biggest piracy hotspot in recent years.”
IMB Director Michael Howlett said, “We commend the efforts of the coastal authorities of the Gulf of Guinea. While the decline is welcome, sustained and continued efforts of the coastal authorities and the presence of the international navies remain essential to safeguard seafarers and long-term regional and international shipping and trade. There is no room for complacency.” Additionally, reports out of Callao Anchorage in Peru have dropped from 15 in 2021 to eight in 2022, signaling a change for the better in that area. However, incidents in the Singapore Straits have increased, with 31 incidents reported during the period, compared to 21 last year. As detailed in the report, “Vessels underway, including several large vessels and tankers, were boarded in all 31 reports and in most cases, ship stores or properties were stolen. Crews also continue to be at risk with weapons reported in at least 16 incidents, including some involving very large bulk carriers and tankers.”
According to the report, “The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre also believes there is a degree of underreporting as well as late reporting of incidents from these waters and encourages masters to report all incidents as early as possible so that local authorities are able to identify, investigate and apprehend the perpetrators.”
Since 1991, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has served as a single point of contact for mariners to report attempted acts of piracy, 24 hours a day. As stated by the ICC, “Their prompt forwarding of reports, and liaison with response agencies, broadcasts to shipping via GMDSS Safety Net Services, and email alerts to CSOs, all provided free of cost, help the response against piracy and armed robbery globally. As evidenced by the standing up of multiple regional cooperation, reporting, and response mechanisms, its reports have over time increased awareness, resulting in the allocation of adequate resources to make waters safer.”