According to the last issue of Review of Maritime Transport 2016, piracy and sea robbery have evolved from a problem of maritime transport to a global issue that affects regional economies and worldwide trade.
The number of accidents attempted has decreased 4% from 303 cases in 2014 to 291 reported in 2015 said IMO. The most affected areas according to the UN were the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (134), the South China Sea (81) and the western Indian Ocean with 38 in total, followed by West Africa (35), South America and the Caribbean (5), the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean (4), the Yellow Sea (4) and the Mediterranean Sea (2).
Somalia is one of the most common areas where activities of piracy are developed, and during 2015, these incidents increased to 15, from 12 in 2014. However, the number remains low compared to the 78 incidents reported in 2007 and no ships reported hijacked in 2015.
The data also revealed that during the same period, in 141 the crew were violently attacked. One crew member was reported killed and about 71 were reported taken as a hostage or kidnapped.
The UNCTAD noted that sustainer long- term efforts are necessary to combat piracy:
Addressing the challenge of piracy in an effective manner requires strong cooperation at the political, economic, legal, diplomatic and military levels, as well as collaboration between diverse public and private sector stakeholders across regions. UNCTAD, 2016
The commission also highlighted the approval by IMO of several mechanisms last year in order to combat unsafe practices associated with mixed migration by sea and interim guidelines on maritime cyber risk management. Progress was also made on the issue of recognition of seafarers’ identity documents and on improving their living and working conditions.
About the Review of Maritime Transport
The Review of Maritime Transport is a recurrent publication prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat since 1968 with the aim of fostering the transparency of maritime markets and analysing relevant developments. Any factual or editorial corrections that may prove necessary, based on comments made by Governments, will be reflected in a corrigendum to be issued subsequently.