New IMB report finds 87 maritime piracy incidents in first half of 2017


A new report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed that a total of 87 incidents of maritime piracy were reported in the first six months of this year.

The report found that 63 of the total incidents were related to the boarding of ships, eight were of attempted attacks and four involved ship hijacking, while 12 cases saw ships being fired upon.

The results comprise records from 1 January to 30 June 2017, and highlighted that the majority of the incidents reported occurred in Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria and Venezuela.

However, the newly revealed figures represent a decrease from the first half of the last year, which saw 97 reported incidents during the same period.

The IMB report reveals that the Philippines witnessed four cases of piracy in the second quarter of this year, compared to nine in the first quarter.

Nigeria experienced 13 incidents, which is down from 24 in the same period in 2016.

The report also suggested that Nigeria remains a hub for kidnappings following the abduction of 31 crew members as part of two separate incidents.

"The newly revealed figures represent a decrease from the first half of the last year, which saw 97 reported incidents during the same period."

Violence against crew members has also continued, with Nigeria accounting for half of the ships fired upon worldwide.

Somalia reported seven maritime piracy incidents in the first six months of 2017, including the hijacking of three ships. These incidents demonstrated the capability and capacity of Somali pirates, explained the IMB report.

Various types of ships were victims of maritime piracy during the first quarter of this year, though product tankers were found to be the most frequently attacked vessels with 19 reported incidents.

A total of 18 reported disturbances were related to bulk carriers, while chemical tanker, general cargo and container vessels experienced seven cases each.