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Question of Al (01.18.2023): What are the figures for maritime piracy in the world today?
Maritime piracy in the world R: Since 1990, more than 7,000 acts of piracy have been recorded worldwide.

The economic costs of these acts are estimated at between 7 and 12 billion dollars per year. Until 2016, pirates operating off the coast of Somalia were considered responsible for 95% of these global costs.

Below, the acts of maritime piracy in figures (which are regularly updated over the years):

Year Number of attacks
2022115
2021132
2020195
2019162
2018201
2017180
2016191
2015246
2014245
2013264
2012297
2011439
2010445
2009406
2008293
2007263
2006239
2005276
2004325
2003445
2002370
2001335
2000337
1999309
1998202

» See the map showing the maritime piracy acts in real time

In 2005, the average ransom paid to pirates was $150,000. However, in 2010, this amount increased dramatically to more than $5 million, with a record $9.5 million paid in November 2010 for the release of a South Korean oil tanker.

To combat piracy at sea, a new law has been put in place. It allows French courts to judge the pirates, rather than third countries. French courts now have jurisdiction over acts of piracy committed outside of France, regardless of the nationality of the ship or the victims, when the pirates are apprehended by French agents.

In addition, a European anti-piracy force (Atalanta) has been deployed since 2008 in the Indian Ocean to reinforce maritime security.

Maritime piracy in 2015

Criminal activity related to piracy varies by geographic area. Southeast Asia is particularly affected, with "very high risk areas" such as the Strait of Malacca, western Peninsular Malaysia and the waters between the Philippines and the Malaysian state of Sabah. The "risk areas" for the region also include the Gulf of Thailand and the waters around Vietnam, the Philippines and northern Borneo.

Somali piracy is down significantly, with no incidents reported in the first nine months of 2015. However, the Marshall Islands were particularly affected, with 40 acts of piracy committed against vessels of their companies.

Maritime piracy in 2017

Piracy is down worldwide, with the exception of the Nigeria region. There has been a sudden increase in attacks at sea in the Horn of Africa, where piracy seems to have moved to the Gulf of Guinea, an area rich in oil fields. Most of the pirates are Nigerian nationals hiding in the mangroves of the Niger Delta. It should be noted that for the first time in 25 years, Somalia no longer appears on the piracy statistics.

Maritime piracy in 2018

Piracy is on the rise with a total of 201 recorded acts. There are two countries that concentrate the majority of these acts: Nigeria with 48 cases and Indonesia with 36. All other countries have a much lower number of incidents, not exceeding 12.
As for the continents, East Asia records 7 acts, India 18, America 29, Southeast Asia 60 and Africa 87.

Maritime piracy in 2019

There were 3 times fewer acts of piracy than in 2003 and 2010 (445 incidents), according to the annual report of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). The incidents are broken down as follows: 11 shots fired at ships, 17 unsuccessful attack attempts, 130 collisions and 4 ship hijackings.
However, a disturbing trend is revealed by the ICC, a significant increase in kidnappings, from 83 in 2018 to 134 in 2019, an increase of 61%. The Gulf of Guinea accounts for more than 90% of kidnappings (121 kidnappings, an increase of 55%).

Maritime Piracy in 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has unfortunately led to an increase in acts of piracy, reaching a total of 375. The Gulf of Guinea, considered the most dangerous region in the world, continues to see an increase in violent incidents and kidnappings. Pirate areas of operation have expanded from the coast of Ghana to Equatorial Guinea. In the Indian Ocean, the number of incidents remains low, but there has been an increase in thefts at anchor in the Bay of Bengal. In Southeast Asia, the Straits of Malacca and Singapore continue to be the most affected areas for robbery. In Latin America, robberies in major commercial ports are common, while boaters are targeted by thieves operating throughout the Caribbean arc.

Maritime piracy in 2021

Maritime piracy in the world in 2021 Maritime piracy in the world in 2021In 2021, Bureau Maritime International (BMI) counted 132 acts of piracy on the seas of the world, the lowest since 1994. However, in the Singapore Strait, they have increased by 50%. These incidents include 115 vessels boarded, 11 attempted attacks, five vessels fired upon and one vessel hijacked.

Maritime piracy in 2022

Maritime piracy in the world in 2022 In 2022, there were 115 acts of piracy against ships, a 13 percent decrease from the previous year. This figure is the lowest in over three decades. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that half of these incidents took place in Southeast Asian waters, including the Singapore Straits, an area particularly affected by piracy. Although the figures show a significant decrease in piracy, they actually mask a "shift" to criminal activities considered more profitable and less risky.


© Photos: ICC Commercial Crime Services




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