The number of piracy attacks worldwide in the first quarter of the year was at its lowest level since 2007 according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
The IMB’s first quarter piracy report said there were 49 reported piracy incidents in the first three months of 2014, the lowest since the first quarter of 2007 when there were 41 reported incidents.
There were a total of 66 incidents worldwide reported in the first three months of 2013.
However, IMB warned the threat of piracy has not gone away, and also noted a continued under-reporting of incidents in the piracy black spot of West Africa.
Somalia saw five reported pirate attacks, the same number as in the first quarter of 2013.
“There can be no room for complacency, as it will take only one successful Somali hijacking for the business model to return. Masters are therefore advised to maintain vigilance and adhere to the industry’s latest Best Management Practices recommendations,” said IMB Director, Potengal Mukudan.
In the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, there were 12 reported attacks, with two vessels hijacked, 39 crew held hostage and two kidnapped. This is lower than the 15 incidents, including three hijackings, reported in the first quarter of 2013.
“As in previous years there were a significant number of attacks which went unreported in the first quarter of 2014. These vessels may be used by pirates to conduct attacks on other vessels,” Mukundan warned.
Indonesia had the highest number of attacks in the first quarter 2014, with 18 incidents; however, most were low level incidents of boarding and theft.