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Piracy: number of incidents at sea on the rise

Caption: Piraterie-Übung der IMO. © IMO

Reported piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea have increased in the period from January to September 2023.

This is according to a new report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). According to the report, more incidents have been recorded in the Gulf of Guinea and there are also concerns about the Singapore Strait. [ds_preview]

A total of 99 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea were recorded in the first nine months of 2023. This represents an increase of 1% compared to 90 incidents in the same period in 2022.

So far this year, 85 ships have been boarded, nine attempts were made to attack one, three were hijacked and two were fired upon. 89% of the ships attacked were successfully boarded by the perpetrators, with most incidents occurring at night.

Even though the reported violence against crew members is among the lowest in the last three decades, the threat to crew remains real: 69 hostage takings, 14 hijackings, eight threats, three injuries and one assault.

More piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

The number of reported incidents in the Gulf of Guinea increased in the first nine months: there were 21 incidents here, compared to 14 in the same period in 2022; 33 incidents were reported for the Strait of Singapore (compared to 31 in the same period last year).

“It is not only the developments in the Gulf of Guinea, an area where the number of incidents has actually been declining over the past two years, that are worrying. The Singapore Strait also remains a cause for concern,” said ICC Germany Secretary General Oliver Wieck.

“Shipping in the region is of great importance for international trade and must be possible in a safe and sustainable manner. We need more international cooperation here, with the close involvement of local authorities.”

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