Maritime piracy drops in Nigeria, says report

Maritime

Latest report from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Maritime Bureau (IMB), has revealed that Nigeria experienced a decrease in reported piracy incidents in the first quarter (Q1) 2019.
   
The IMB report obtained by The Guardian yesterday, indicated that Nigeria reported 14 incidents of piracy in Q1, compared to 22 in the corresponding period of 2018, even as its waters remain risky for vessels.
  
The IMB also noted that “Nigeria has been a hotspot for piracy incidents over the past decade,” adding that “These results confirm the Nigerian Navy’s increased efforts to actively respond to reported incidents by dispatching patrol boats.”
   
The Bureau however berated the high risk in the Gulf of Guinea, noting that it represented a high number of piracy and armed robbery attacks at sea, with 22 incidents reported within the period.
   
“The region also accounted for all of the worldwide crew kidnappings, as 21 crew members were kidnapped across five separate incidents. Incidents were reported in the coastal countries, of Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, and Togo in the first quarter of 2019,” it stated.
  
Globally, the report identified 38 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea, representing 28 fewer incidents than the first quarter of 2018 (or a decrease of 42.4 per cent), compared to a year ago, when 66 incidents were recorded.

IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre detailed that 27 vessels were boarded, seven vessels were fired upon, and four attempted attacks occurred in Q1 2019. No vessels were reported as hijacked for the first time since Q1 1994.
  
IMB Director, Pottengal Mukundan, said: “These latest statistics from the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre are encouraging. However, first quarter statistics is too short a period on which to anticipate trends over the year. 

It confirms the importance of information sharing and coordinated action between the industry and response agencies. Going forward, it is critical to continue to build more effective reporting structures to enable a strong, unified response when dealing with piracy incidents.”
  
He added: “As with Nigeria, increased cooperation and information sharing between the Indonesian Marine Police and IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has enabled regular patrols in high-risk areas.”
   
The IMB further said the declining rate of piracy incidents worldwide in the first quarter reinforces the importance of transparency, communication and coordination, between vessels and coastal authorities.

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