The number of piracy incidents doubled off the coast of East Africa in 2017 compared to 2016, according to the report recently released by One Earth Future (OEF)’s Oceans Beyond Piracy program.
The report showed that there were 54 incidents of piracy off the Somali Coast in 2017, up from 27 the previous year. Some 16 piracy incidents were recorded off the East Africa shores in 2015.
Cruise ships have wisely stayed away from the area, and also utilized high speed transits and security measures over the years.
“Pirate activity in 2017 clearly demonstrates that pirate groups retain their ability to organize and implement attacks against ships transiting the region,” said Maisie Pigeon, the report’s lead author.
Piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea continue at persistently high levels, according to the report.
In 2017, 1,726 seafarers were impacted in a total of 97 incidents globally, despite the increased efforts of regional states and contracted maritime security providers.
More troubling, in the Caribbean the report claimed 42 yachts were involved in piracy-related incidents. Most of these yachts were at anchor, the report said.
The piracy situation in Asia improved considerably in 2017, according to the report, with overall incidents down by over 20 percent from 2016.
Most encouraging was that kidnap-for-ransom attacks decreased from 22 in 2016 to just four in 2017.
“We believe that much of the credit for this progress is due to the trilateral patrols between the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia,” added Gregory Clough, Ocean Beyond Piracy’s acting director.