A new report from the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed that 2017 saw the lowest number of recorded maritime piracy and armed robbery incidents worldwide since 1995.

A total of 180 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported last year, compared to 188 incidents in 1995.

The new IMB report notes that pirates boarded 136 vessels last year, while there were 22 attempted attacks, 16 vessels fired upon and six vessels hijacked during the same period.

In addition, 91 crew members were reportedly taken hostage in 15 different incidents of maritime piracy and 75 were abducted from their vessels during 13 other incidents.

"Although the number of attacks is down this year in comparison with last year, the Gulf of Guinea and the waters around Nigeria remain a threat to seafarers."

Furthermore, last year also saw the death of three personnel and six injured mariners.

IMB recorded a total of 191 incidents of maritime piracy in 2016, with 150 vessels boarded and 151 crew members taken hostage.

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IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said: “Although the number of attacks is down this year in comparison with last year, the Gulf of Guinea and the waters around Nigeria remain a threat to seafarers.

“The Nigerian authorities have intervened in a number of incidents helping to prevent incidents from escalating.”

IMB recorded nine incidents off the shore of Somalia last year, compared to two events in 2016.

A group of six Somali pirates were detained by the European Union Naval Force following an incident involving an attack on a container ship off the coast of Mogadishu, Somalia, in November last year.

IMB reported mixed results in Southeast Asia in 2017, with 43 incidents reported in Indonesia, which is down from 49 in 2016.

However, the number of reported incidents increased from ten in 2016 to 22 last year in the Philippines.