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Piracy Down in the Waters Off Nigeria

Pic: Danish Shipping

Shailaja A. Lakshmi

The number of hijackings and armed attacks on ships sailing off Nigeria has dropped according to new figures from the International Piracy Reporting Centre, IMB.

Fire shots at ships, assault and hostage taking of crew members. Pirate attacks have long been a serious threat, creating insecurity for both crew members and shipping companies. But new figures now show that the number of pirate attacks is declining.

Globally, 78 cases of piracy and armed robbery against ships have so far been registered, compared to 107 incidents in the same period in 2018.

For the Gulf of Guinea and off the coast of Nigeria, there have been fewer registered incidents especially in the second quarter of 2019. In the first half of 2019, 21 pirate incidents were registered off Nigeria. This number has fallen from 31 incidents in the same period of 2018. The decrease is due, among other things, to a faster effort by the Nigerian fleet, says Danish Shipping.

"We are very pleased that the number of incidents is on the decline. The development emphasizes how important it is that countries in the exposed regions start to live up to their responsibility as to safeguarding their waters, and for the Gulf of Guinea, we have especially seen Nigeria making an important effort," said Asbjørn Overgaard Christiansen, Acting Director of Security, Environment and Maritime Research at Danish Shipping.

Although the number of incidents is declining, the Gulf of Guinea and especially the waters off Nigeria in West Africa are still the area most affected by violent assaults and hijackings. 8 out of 9 incidents where pirates have fired upon merchant ships took place off Nigeria, while nearly half of the globally reported pirate incidents occurred in the Gulf of Guinea.

Jul 16, 2019


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