Piracy down, but no room for complacency
LONDON _ The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau says high seas piracy in Q1 2014 fell to its lowest first-quarter level since 2007. The latest IMB Piracy Report shows 49 piracy incidents in the first quarter. In the same 2007 period, there were 41 incidents
In the first 3 months of 2014, 2 vessels were hijacked, 37 were boarded, 5 were fired on and 5 reported attempted attacks. In all, 46 crew members were taken hostage and 2 kidnapped from their vessel.
Off Somalia, 5 incidents were reported – matching the Q1 2013 number. There were 3 attempted attacks and 2 vessels were fired on. IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan: “Although the number of attacks continues to remain low, the threat of Somali piracy is still clearly evident. There can therefore be no room for complacency as it will take only one successful Somali hijacking for the business model to return.” He credited coordinated activities by allied navies for the piracy drop.
The highest Q1 piracy incidence was reported off Indonesia: 18 reports. Off West Africa, 12 reports were recorded including the hijacking of 2 vessels with 39 crew taken hostage and 2 taken off their vessel. Nigeria accounted for six incidents including the hijacking of a supply vessel, which was used unsuccessfully to hunt for other potential vessels to hijack. “As in previous years there has been a significant number of attacks which have gone unreported,” said Mukundan. “These vessels may be used by pirates to conduct attacks on other vessels.”