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IMB decries late, underreporting of piracy attacks as GoG records 19 incidents in 2022

By Adaku Onyenucheya
18 January 2023   |   2:33 am
The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre has said there is a degree of under-reporting and late reporting of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) and other waters.

Pirates attacking a ship on the high sea

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre has said there is a degree of under-reporting and late reporting of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) and other waters.

This is just as the centre encouraged masters to report all incidents, as early as possible, so that local authorities can identify, investigate and apprehend the perpetrators.

The ICC IMB’s yearly report recorded 115 incidents of piracy and armed robbery attacks against ships in 2022 compared to 132 in 2021, with half of them occurring in Southeast Asian waters, particularly, in the Singapore Straits, where incidents continue to rise.

The organisation highlighted the progress in the Gulf of Guinea, where the incidents fell from 82 in 2018 to 84 in 2020 and 35 in 2021 to 19 in 2022.

The organisation said the continued and much-needed reduction is attributed to an overall decrease in piratical activity in the highly risky waters of the Gulf of Guinea.

IMB stated that sustained efforts are needed to ensure the continued safety of seafarers in the Gulf of Guinea region, which remains dangerous as evidenced by two incidents in the last quarter of 2022.

The Director of IMB, Michael Howlett, applauded the prompt and decisive actions of international navies and regional authorities in the Gulf of Guinea, which he said have positively contributed to the drop in reported incidents and ensured continued safety to crews and trade.

He said masters are strongly encouraged to follow industry best management practice recommendations in these waters.

“We commend local authorities for investigating nearly all reported incidents. Being one of the most crucial and busy waterways for trade, these incidents continue to be a cause of concern as they not only have an impact on crew safety but also potential navigational and environmental consequences,” he said.