22 October 2012 15:43 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Monday that global incidents of piracy have decreased, but warned against complacency.
The IMB said that global figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea decreased to 233 incidents between and January and September 2012, driven mainly by lower rates of Somali pirate attacks.
This is the lowest total in the nine-month period since 2008, when the number of incidents between January and September totalled 199.
Policing and intervention by international navies have been instrumental in decreasing the number of pirate attacks, according to the IMB, as has the employment of best management practice, which includes the use of armed guards and other onboard security measures.
However, there was an increase in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. There were 34 incidents there from January to September, compared with 30 for the same period last year.
The IMB said that piracy in the region was becoming increasingly dangerous and is spreading westward from Benin to neighbouring Togo, with attacks often violent, planned and aimed at stealing refined oil product that can be easily sold on the open market.
“We welcome the successful robust targeting of pirate action groups by international navies in the high-risk waters off Somalia, ensuring these criminals are removed before they can threaten ships,” said IMB director Captain Pottengal Mukundan.
“It’s good news that hijackings are down, but there can be no room for complacency. These waters are still extremely high risk and the naval presence must be maintained,” he added.
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