A new report from the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed that a total of 121 incidents of piracy and armed robbery have been reported against ships in the first nine months of this year.
IMB’s report indicates that 92 vessels were boarded and 13 were fired upon during this period, while 11 incidents relating to attempted attacks and five incidents of vessel hijacking were also reported.
However, the new quarterly report on maritime piracy has also found that overall piracy rates were reduced compared to the same period in 2016, though the Gulf of Guinea and South East Asia were still highlighted as a concern with regards to vessel attacks.
IMB notes that the rise in attacks off the coast of Venezuela, as well as other security incidents against vessels off the shore of Libya, demonstrates the importance of remaining vigilant when travelling in those areas.
The research did not find any incidents of maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia within the latest quarter.
In addition, the report lauded the efforts of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency for preventing an attack off Pulau Yu in Malaysia in early September and detaining ten hijackers.
The report suggested that the waters in and around Nigeria still remains risky, as a total of 20 reports of violence against all vessel types were reported in the region during the first nine months of this year.
Additionally, the area off the coast of Venezuela also witnessed a slight increase in violence against vessels at sea.
The region saw 11 low-level incidents during the first nine months of 2017, which represents a rise from the three incidents reported in the same period last year.
The IMB report also stated that the round-the-clock support offered by the manned IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) has played a significant role in keeping incidents to a minimum by providing the maritime industry, local governments and response agencies with timely data related to piracy and armed robbery at sea.