Piracy Attacks Off East Africa Doubled In 2017

The number of piracy incidents doubled off the coast of East Africa in 2017 compared to 2016, according to the annual State of Piracy report released last week by One Earth Future’s (OEF) Oceans Beyond Piracy programme.

The report analyzes the human and economic impacts of maritime piracy and robbery at sea in the Western Indian Ocean Region, the Gulf of Guinea, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Pirate activity in 2017 clearly demonstrates that pirate groups retain their ability to organize and implement attacks against ships transiting the region,” says Maisie Pigeon, the report’s lead author.

Incidents in this maritime space have posed an additional threat to shipping transiting the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

“There is now a wide range of threats to shipping near the Horn of Africa that have been complicated by the conflict and instability in Yemen,” says Phil Belcher, Marine Director of Intertanko.

“We are advising our members to consider a more comprehensive security assessment to take into account other threats beyond traditional piracy emanating from the regional conflict in Yemen.”

The report shows that there were 54 incidents in 2017 in the region, out of which four were successful hijackings. These included Aris 13 bunkering tanker, the first vessel to be hijacked in the region in the last 5 years, Asayr 2, Al Kausar and one dhow. The report also indicated that there were 15 failed hijacking attacks. 

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