Anti-piracy watchdog ReCAAP has revealed that the total number of piracy incidents reported in Asia during the first quarter of this year has increased to 38 from the lowest of 29 incidents occurred during the same period in 2013.
According to ReCAAP’s quarterly report, four of the 38 incidents occurred during the period were incidence of piracy and the remaining 34 were robberies onboard ships.
Meanwhile, the number of incidents reported in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) has doubled when compared with the same period last year.
In addition, a number of ports and anchorages in Vietnam have witnessed an increasing trend in the number of reported cases.
All the four piracy incidents reported this year occurred in the South China Sea (SCS), the piracy watchdog said.
Within the armed robbery cases, 12 have occurred onboard ships at anchor/berth, mostly at Vietnam ports and anchorages, while the other 22 incidents onboard ships while underway, mostly in the SOMS.
Few of these incidents also included siphoning of ship fuel/oil, the piracy watchdog stated.
In the wake of this increase in piracy incidents, the ReCAAP ISC has urged the littoral states to enhance surveillance, and ship masters and crew to exercise enhanced vigilance when their ships were underway in the straits.
ReCAAP earlier revealed that the number of piracy incidents reported in February was the month’s lowest in the last five-year reporting period.
A total of 11 piracy and armed robbery attacks against ships were reported in Asia and within these, one incident involved piracy, while the remaining ten were armed robberies of vessels.
Image: The number of incidents reported in the SOMS during the first quarter of 2015 has doubled when compared with the same period last year. Photo: courtesy of the UN.