Fewer piracy incidents, new hot spot
Blackbeard has not died out, yet, although the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) report demonstrates fewer incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships for Q3/2019 than in the first nine months of 2018.
Altogether, 119 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the IMB piracy reporting centre (IMB PRC) in 2019, compared to 156 incidents for the same period in 2018. Overall, the 2019 incidents include 95 vessels boarded, ten vessels fired upon, ten attempted attacks, and four vessels hijacked. The number of crew taken hostage through the first nine months declined from 112 in 2018 to 49 in 2019.
The Gulf of Guinea remains a high risk area for piracy and armed robbery. The region reports 86% of crew taken hostage and nearly 82% of crew kidnappings worldwide. European shipowners are especially concerned about the escalating rate of piracy incidents and the continued levels of violence in this area.
The European community shipowner's association (ECSA) called upon European policymakers to take further measures: "The EU’s engagements with the coastal states and its member states’ active contributions outside territorial waters – such as the deployment of warships – are much needed to mitigate the current situation." (fd)