The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has released its January to September 2023 report of global piracy activities. The report pinpointed 99 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships, in the first nine months of 2023. This represents an increase from 90 incidents for the same period in 2022.
In the global report that was released on Wednesday, the IMB narrowed its report to the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), reporting that the region is of concern to global shipping community.
It expressed worry that the Gulf of Guinea “stands as a region of concern with a rise in reported incidents, as opposed to the downward trend we have seen in the past two years.”
The IMB however recommended regional ownership of the anti-piracy war as critical to safeguard shipping and trade and to address these crimes.
Giving details, the global body reported that, “incidents increased in the Gulf of Guinea in the first nine months of 2023, from 21 compared to 14 for the same period in 2022”.
It added that 17 of the incidents “were classified as armed robberies and four as piracy with a mounting concern for crew as 54 were taken hostage, 14 kidnapped and two were injured”.
In the global scene, the IMB also noted that, “this year, 85 vessels were boarded, nine had attempted attacks, three were hijacked and two were fired upon. Perpetrators successfully boarded 89% of targeted vessels with most incidents occurring at night”.
It also added that. “even though reported violence towards crew members is amongst the lowest in three decades, the risk to crew remains real with 69 taken hostage, 14 kidnapped, eight threatened, three injured and one assaulted”.