A report from the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) has revealed that the number of piracy and armed robbery incidents against ships at seas in Asia has decreased to 40 in the first six months of this year, down 15% from the same period last year.

The number also represents the lowest figure reported for the same period since 2009.

Of the 40 incidents reported between January and June this year, 29 were actual incidents and 11 were attempted cases.

Among the reported cases, 37 were armed robbery against ships while three were piracy incidents.

ReCAAP ISC executive director Masafumi Kuroki said: “Looking back to the number of incidents in 2017, which increased by 16% compared to 2016, the 15% decrease in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 is welcome news.

“Nonetheless, continued vigilance by all stakeholders is an effective deterrence to maritime crime and we urge heightened measures to be taken in the areas of concern.”

“Continued vigilance by all stakeholders is an effective deterrence to maritime crime and we urge heightened measures to be taken in the areas of concern.”

The half-yearly report also showed that no actual incident of abduction of crew or theft of oil cargo was reported during January and June.

There was a decline in the number of incidents at ports and anchorages in the Philippines, while successful arrests have been made and stolen items recovered during the same period.

However, the report found that the Singapore Strait reported four cases compared to two in January-June last year.

Ports and anchorages in Vietnam also witnessed an increase in incidents, up from zero in January-June last year to two cases in the first half of this year.

One attempted incident of abduction of crew was reported in Sulu-Celebes Seas, while another attempted incident of theft of oil cargo was registered during the period.