Asian piracy incidents hit 10-year low

The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) has released its half-yearly report.

With 36 reported incidents reported by government enforcement agencies in the region, ReCAAP stated the year to date had seen the lowest total number of incidents since 2007.

Of the 36 reported incidents, 27 were armed robbery against ships, two were piracy, seven were kidnaps for ransom. The number of incidents was a 22 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2016, and 41 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2013.

The situation of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Sea has improved, with no incidents reported in May and June 2017, but still remains an “area of concern”, ReCAAP stressed.

Also of concern was the recurrence of the hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo, and a rise in the number of incidents reported at Bangladesh port or anchorages as well.

“While the number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia continued to decline, there is no room for complacency. ReCAAP ISC will continue our engagement with the enforcement authorities and shipping community in the region as we collectively work towards making seas in Asia safe and secure for all,” said Masafumi Kuroki, executive director of ReCAAP ISC.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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