Piracy and sea robbery down to 21-year low in first half of 2016

Piracy and armed robbery at sea have fallen to their lowest level since 1995 in the first half of the year amid a decline in attacks in Indonesia and Somalia, an international watch group said Monday.

A total of 98 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea have been recorded from January to June, compared with 134 incidents recorded in the same period last year, the International Maritime Bureau, which has a piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, said.

IMB data showed a total of 72 vessels have been boarded and five hijacked while 12 suffered attempted attacks.

“This drop in world piracy is encouraging news,” IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said in a statement. “Two main factors are recent improvements around Indonesia, and the continued deterrence of Somali pirates off East Africa.”

IMB hailed the improved security measures implemented by the Indonesian authorities in various of its ports, bringing down to 24 the number of incidents reported in Indonesia, from 54 in the same period in 2015.

The group also hailed the Indonesian navy’s prompt response in recovering a hijacked product tanker off Indonesia’s West Kalimantan in May.

“This is exactly the type of robust response required in response to such threats,” it said.

But the agency expressed concern over the rising incidents of kidnapping of sailors in the Gulf of Guinea, which accounted for seven of 10 kidnapping incidents at sea recorded in the first half of the year.

Last update: Mon, 25/07/2016 - 10:17

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