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Web Alert: The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) publishes third quarter report on piracy and armed robbery for 2016

03 November 2016

The IMB has published its report on piracy and armed robbery for the third quarter of 2016, covering the period from 1 January to 30 September 2016. With just 42 attacks worldwide this quarter, it is reported that piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1996.

141 incidents have been reported in the last nine months, with 111 ships boarded, 15 attempted attacks, five vessels hijacked and ten vessels fired upon. This represents a 25% decrease from the same period in 2015.

In relation to crew, the IMB reports that 110 crew members were taken hostage (down from 266 in the same period last year), five were assaulted, six injured and 49 kidnapped.

The main bulk of the 141 reported incidents for 2016 occurred in the following five countries:

Piracy Incidents Jan - Sept 2016



Southeast Asia/Indonesia

The majority of reported incidents in 2016 have taken place in Indonesia. The IMB reported 33 attacks in the first nine months of 2016, down from 86 for the same period last year. Attacks in Southeast Asia tend to be low-level in nature and take place at night. Ships should maintain strict anti-piracy watches and report any incident or suspicious behaviour to local authorities and the IMB.

Gulf of Guinea/Nigeria

Kidnappings and armed theft remain the main concerns in this area. There have been 31 reported incidents up from 12 in the same period last year. 13 people have been taken hostage onboard, and 29 kidnapped for ransom. Nigerian attacks are often violent, accounting for eight of the ten vessels fired upon worldwide. The IMB considers that in reality there are significantly more attacks than those reported.

Members should be aware of the change in reporting for piracy events in the Gulf of Guinea, as advised by the club on 20 June 2016 in the following web alert.

Gulf of Aden/Somalia

There has only been one attempted attack in the region in the first nine months of 2016.

Attack by ship-type

The main ship-types affected are as follows:

Ship Types

Despite the reported decline in piracy and armed robbery at sea, the club continues to advise members to be cautious, especially off Somalia. We consider that a risk still remains, despite the reduced number of incidents in 2016.

We strongly recommend that members comply with the latest version of Best Management Practices (version 4) and related guidance in all affected areas.

For further information, please contact your usual contact at the club or the authors of this article.