Piracy and Maritime Crime Still Proliferates in Some Regions as Attacks Continue

WORLDWIDE – In the race to be the holder of the unwanted title of the 'World's Worst Piracy Hotspot' it seems the Gulf of Guinea remains currently unchallenged. With approximately 95% of global kidnappings reported from within Gulf of Guinea waters, the latest ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report this week confirms the grave situation for merchant vessels trading in the region.

This of course is not to say that other areas do not hold dangers for the ships and their crews sailing through them. Somalia for example, which held the abhorrent title for so long, still has the potential to impose misery on unprotected sailors but the continuing use of Best Management Practices, the physical protection of ships and the use of private security teams, plus of course the sterling work of EU Navfor (Operation Atalanta) and other national forces, has seen a vast reduction in maritime crime. No incidents of piracy have been reported around Somalia since 2018. In August 2020 pirates freed the last three of the thousands of hostages who have been held captive in the region over the years since ship hijackings peaked in 2011.

IMB’s latest global piracy report details 132 attacks since the start of 2020, up from 119 incidents in the same period last year. Of the 85 seafarers kidnapped from their vessels and held for ransom, 80 were taken in the Gulf of Guinea, in 14 attacks reported off Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana. The furthest attack from shore also involved ....

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