August 4, 2016

On 25 July the IMB published its latest report for the period 1 January to 30 June 2016 which showed that piracy and armed robbery at sea had fallen to its lowest level since 1995. 98 incidents were reported during this period with 72 ships boarded, five hijacked, 12 attempted attacks and nine ships fired at. 64 crew were taken hostage on board, down from 250 in the same period last year, 44 kidnapped, four injured, three assaulted and four threatened.

Whilst the fall is encouraging, the IMB stressed that ships should remain vigilant particularly off Somalia and in the Gulf of Guinea. Despite global improvements, kidnappings are on the rise, with 44 crew captured for ransom in 2016, 24 of them in Nigeria, up from ten in the first half of 2015. Nigerian attacks are often violent, accounting for eight of the nine ships fired upon worldwide. IMB says many further assaults go unreported by shipowners.

In South East Asia the majority of incidents have taken place in Indonesian waters with 24 incidents reported in the first six months of 2016, compared with 54 in the same period in 2015. IMB reported that it has been working closely with the Indonesian authorities to improve security at sea and in ports and contributes the reduction in low-level theft at anchor to the introduction of designated anchorages with improved security. IMB reported two further kidnap incidents off Sabah, where tugs and barges were targeted and in early June, a tug and barge was hijacked off Balingian, Sarawak in Malaysia and its palm oil cargo was stolen.

Members should remain vigilant at all times and comply with Best Management practice version 4. If further information is required please contact the Managers or visit the Piracy Focus page on the Britannia website.