The hijacking of an Indian dhow in early April was one of five incidents off Somali pirates reported in the second quarter of 2017. Added to a further three reports of vessels coming under fire and a bulk carrier being boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, the incident reveals that Somali pirates still retain the skills and capacity to attack merchant ships far from coastal waters, the report said. The IMB continues to urge ship masters to maintain high levels of vigilance when transiting the high-risk area and to adhere to the latest version of best management practices.
Pirates in Nigeria continue to dominate when it comes to reports of kidnappings. So far, in 2017 there have been responsible for the abduction of 31 crew in five reported incidents. The numbers include 14 crew members taken from two separate vessels in the second quarter of the year.
Violence against crews continues with half of all reports of vessels being fired upon coming from Nigeria.
Recognizing the need to get a clearer understanding of the depth of under reporting in the Gulf of Guinea region the IMB, in association with Oceans Beyond Piracy, has proposed the idea of a ‘Community of Reporting’ – a project aimed at encouraging all stakeholders to share reports of piracy and armed robbery with the IMB.
Piracy and armed robbery
Since 1991 the IMB 24-hour-manned Piracy Reporting Centre, has provided the maritime industry, governments and response agencies with timely and transparent data on piracy and armed robbery incidents – received directly from the vessel masters or owners.
The Centre’s prompt forwarding of reports and liaison with response agencies, its broadcasts to shipping via Inmarsat Safety Net Services and email alerts to CSO’s – all provided cost free – have contributed to response efforts against piracy and armed robbery and to improved security for seafarers worldwide.
IMB continues to strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the Piracy Reporting Centre. “This first step in the response chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle piracy. Transparent statistics from an independent, non-political, international organization can act as a catalyst to achieve this goal,” the IMB said.