Maritime piracy has fallen in global hotspots in the third quarter of this year compared with the previous quarter, according to a report by crisis prevention and response consultancy NYA International.

The regions of South East Asia and the East Africa and Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA) saw a drop in reported piracy incidents.

West Africa also witnessed a drop in severe incidents such as attacks and hijackings.

Under the findings in the Q3 2016 Piracy Assessment of NYA International, crew kidnapping and hijacking are still being reported in South East Asia and West Africa.

"The persistence of the threat in West Africa and South East Asia should be noted by ship owners, managers and charterers."

NYA International managing director Alex Kemp said: “The analysis in the Q3 2016 Piracy Assessment highlights the continuous threat to crew and operations off West Africa and South East Asia.

"Although total incidents were generally lower, the relative impunity with which some pirate groups operate in these regions demonstrates the scale of the challenge facing regional maritime authorities.

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“While it is reassuring to see historically low piracy levels off Somalia and in the HRA following years of effective international counter-piracy and land-based operations, the persistence of the threat in West Africa and South East Asia should be noted by ship owners, managers and charterers.

“The threat of crew kidnapping has not disappeared with the decline in Somali piracy and the importance of security measures such as those specified in BMP4 remain relevant.”

The report noted that 16 attacks and nine hijackings were reported in West Africa in the third quarter of this year.

Three attacks and five hijackings were also reported to have occurred during the same period, while 18 criminal boardings reported in the area.

The NYA International report further states that pirates continued to hijack foreign vessels for kidnapping crews in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), with all the five hijackings reportedly occurred in Nigerian waters.

Kidnappings were intended to demand ransom in return of the senior foreign crews.

The Q3 2016 Piracy Assessment also showed that South East Asia witnessed a 22% drop in activity during this quarter.

A total of 28 piracy incidents and seven hijackings were reported during the period.