More crew were kidnapped at sea in 2016 than in any of the previous 10 years, despite global piracy reaching its lowest levels since 1998, the ICC International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) annual piracy report revealed today.
In its 2016 report, IMB recorded 191 incidents of piracy and armed robbery on the world's seas.
"The continued fall in piracy is good news, but certain shipping routes remain dangerous, and the escalation of crew kidnapping is a worrying trend in some emerging areas," said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB whose Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) has monitored world piracy since 1991.
"The kidnappings in the Sulu Sea between East Malaysia and the Philippines are a particular concern," he added.
Worldwide in 2016, 150 vessels were boarded, 12 vessels were fired upon, seven were hijacked, and 22 attacks were thwarted. The number of hostages fell to 151.
Maritime kidnappings, however, showed a threefold increase on 2015. Pirates kidnapped 62 people for ransom in 15 separate incidents in 2016. Just over half were captured off West Africa, while 28 were kidnapped from tugs, barges, fishing boats, and more recently merchant ships, around Malaysia and Indonesia
Read the full report here: