IMB urges vigilance as piracy danger persists in Gulf of Guinea

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-29 20:34:06|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

NAIROBI, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- A global maritime body on Monday called on foreign vessels to remain vigilant while transiting the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, saying despite fewer hijackings, the danger persists in the Gulf of Guinea.

The latest report by the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB) shows the Gulf of Guinea accounts for 57 of the 156 reported incidents of piracy across the globe in the first nine months.

"While most of these incidents have been reported in and around Nigeria (41), the Nigerian Navy has actively responded and dispatched patrol boats when incidents have been reported promptly," said the maritime body.

The IMB however said there were only two incidents of attempted piracy off Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.

"The international navies patrolling these waters continue to coordinate and liaise with merchant and fishing fleets to identify and apprehend pirate action group," the IMB said.

The African maritime industry, along the Indian Ocean, had been greatly affected by piracy that often raise the costs of shipping as insurance companies and private ship security companies increased their premiums to mitigate the risks.

According to the IMB, piracy started declining from 2009, though the shores of Africa remain attractive to pirates, with an estimated 90 percent of all its exports and imports moving across the high seas.

The report says there has also been a noticeable increase in the number of vessels boarded at the Takoradi anchorage, in Ghana.

It is noted that 37 of the 39 crew-kidnappings for ransom globally have occurred in the Gulf of Guinea region, in seven separate incidents.

"While the record low number of hijackings in the second and third quarters of 2018 is of course to be celebrated, incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery remain common," said IMB director Pottengal Mukundan.

According to the report, a total of 29 crew members were kidnapped in four separate incidents off Nigeria.

The report says a total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in the first nine months of 2018, compared to 121 for the same period in 2017.