“Bloody Pirates…………..” This was probably uttered many times by many ship owners, operators, ship captains, seafarers and insurers..
From January to June 2022, there were 58 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships.. While still high, this number is the lowest since 1994 thanks to the efforts of the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) who have played a pivotal role in raising awareness to make navigating the global waters safer..
These numbers were much higher in the past years as you can see from below data from ICC IMB..
Q1 of 2022 was the first quarter since 2010 without any crew kidnappings although 23 crew taken hostage and a further four crew threatened during pirate boardings..
“Not only is this good news for the seafarers and the shipping industry, it is positive news for trade which promotes economic growth,” said Michael Howlett, the Director of IMB. “But the areas of risk shift and the shipping community must remain vigilant. We encourage governments and responding authorities to continue their patrols which create a deterrent effect.”
The ICC Commercial Crime Services has a live map that shows all piracy and armed robbery incidents reported to IMB Piracy Reporting Centre during 2022..
The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is a specialised division of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) established in 1981 to act as a focal point in the fight against all types of maritime crime and malpractice.. The alarming growth in piracy prompted the creation of the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October 1992..
The role of the IMB PRC includes
- A 24/7 manned operations centre
- A single point of reporting for all vessels affected by piracy or armed robbery, as they trade through many different jurisdictions
- Notifying the appropriate response agency of the reported incident and liaising with these agencies until the crew and vessel are safe
- Warning vessels in the vicinity of a threat by broadcasting sitreps of incidents via Inmarsat-C Safety NET service
- Alerting CSOs and vessel managers of incidents via email
- Keeping the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) updated of reported incidents
- Assisting local law enforcement in apprehending and bringing the criminals to justice
- Publish comprehensive quarterly and annual reports detailing incidents reported to the PRC
The IMB PRC provides all its services free of charge to all ships irrespective of crew nationality, ownership, or flag.
Hopefully the trend of reduction in piracy continues. I’m afraid that with increased uncertainty in the global economic situation new hot spots will emerge.