In 2020, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre received 195 reports of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide. In 2019 the number reached 162. Compared to last year, piracy and armed robbery increased by 33%.
What about the kidnapping hotspot at sea – the Gulf of Guinea in 2020? Since 2019, the Gulf of Guinea has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of abductions of several crew members. This is the place where, out of 10 kidnapping cases, 9 are from this region. Or more precisely 95% of the crew members were captured in the Gulf of Guinea. According to IMB, globally 135 abducted sailors from their ships in 2020 where 128 in the Gulf of Guinea.
In addition, according to the latest IMB figures piracy attack in the Gulf of Guinea are especially dangerous as over 80% of attackers had firearms. All three vessel hijackings and 9 of the 11 vessels shelled in 2020 in this region.
Since 2019, the Gulf of Guinea has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of abductions of several crew members. One record abduction occurred nearly 200 nautical miles from land, with an average abduction occurring within 60 nautical miles offshore, according to IMB.
The IMB advices vessels to keep at least 250 nautical miles away from the coast at all times in this region. At least until the ship can proceed directly to a safe berth or anchorage. The increase in pirate attacks at sea in the Gulf of Guinea shows an increase in their pirate capabilities and numbers around the world.