Attacks on ships in Nigeria drop by 76% in nine months 

U.S. warns of piracy risk in Gulf of Mexico


Pirate attacks and armed robbery at sea in Nigeria have dropped from 17 in the first nine months of 2020 to only four in the corresponding period of 2021, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre. This represents a decline of about 76.5% in recorded incidents against ships in the country. 

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre said the attacks against ships across the word is at its lowest number since 1994.

The piracy watchdog also stated that the Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 46 for the same period in 2020.

“Crew kidnappings in the region have dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in quarter three of 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during quarter three of 2020.

“All quarter three incidents in 2021 were also against vessels at port anchorages while the average successful kidnapping location in quarter three of 2020 was approximately 100 nautical miles from land,” it said.

IMB attributed the reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the Gulf of Guinea region to enhanced maritime security and response coordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities.

Despite these gains, however, it warned that the risk to crew remains high in the region, urging that such efforts must therefore be sustained.

“We welcome the decrease of piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and the efforts taken by maritime authorities in the region.

“There needs to be sustained efforts to ensure the continued safety of seafarers as they transport essential goods throughout the region. Coastal states must redouble their coordination and security measures to ensure that piracy and armed robbery incidents continue to decline,” IMB Director, Michael Howlett, stated. 

IMB’s latest global piracy report recorded 97 incidents of piracy and armed robbery for the first nine months of 2021 – the lowest level of reported incidents since 1994.

In 2021, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) reported 85 vessels boarded, nine attempted attacks, two vessels fired upon and one vessel hijacked.

Reported incidents are down to their lowest level in decades, but violence against seafarers has continued with 51 crew kidnapped, eight taken hostage, five threatened, three injured, two assaulted and one killed, according to the latest IMB statistics.