Quick Overview of the IMB 2022 Piracy Figures
Last week, the ICC released its figures for piracy events in 2022. Given our coverage of the MICA Centre's figures last week, we shall cover the IMB figures this week, given that the industry uses these as the benchmark.
The IMB reported 115 incidents worldwide in 2022 compared to 132 in 2021, with 55 crew members impacted. Of these 55, 41 were taken hostage, six were assaulted, six were threatened and two were kidnapped.
"The IMB reported 115 incidents worldwide in 2022 compared to 132 in 2021"
These incidents took place mainly in South-East Asia, with 60 events taking place there. 1/3 of the total (38) occurred in the Singapore Straits alone. South America consisted of 24 attacks, the Gulf of Guinea had 19, with the Indian sub-continent had 10. The IMB praised the work of stakeholders in the Gulf of Guinea for this achievement, as the figure had dropped from 35 in 2021. However, as reported in the MICA article, figures for the Singapore Straits are on the rise, increasing from 35 the previous year.
For the breakdown of vessel types attacked, there were 50 bulk carriers, 11 container ships, 30 tankers and 24 labelled as other. 95% of these vessels were boarded. This figure highlights the importance of our work at Palaemon Maritime to prevent pirates from being able to board with our anti-piracy barriers. Five attempted attacks took place, with two vessels hijacked and one vessel fired upon.
No information was provided on attacks in the Gulf of Aden or the Gulf of Mexico, likely due to the distinction between piracy and armed robbery at sea concerning whether attacks occur on international waters or a country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
"1/3 of the total (38) occurred in the Singapore Straits alone"
As with the MICA report, violent incidents are decreasing in addition to piracy, with some areas like the Singapore Straits being outliers to this general trend. With the 95% vessels being boarded statistic, the next step for crew safety in the maritime security industry would be for ship owners and companies to reduce this figure with improved ship hardening whilst security forces maintain their presence in high-risk areas.