The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the foremost global maritime bureau, says Nigeria, records in sea piracy has dropped in reported piracy incidents at sea in the first quarter of 2019.
The bureau in a statement made available to The Tide said, Nigeria has been a hotspot for piracy incidents over the past decade but quickly added that the West African country reported 14 incidents of piracy for the first quarter of this year compared to 22 incidents reported in the first quarter of 2018.
The IMB report attributed the decline to Nigerian Navy’s increased efforts to “actively respond to reported incidents by dispatching patrol boats. to track the pirate activities in the sub region.
The Bureau, however, insisted that the, Nigerian waters remain risky for vessels, especially the port of Lagos where four incidents of piracy were reported, in recent times.
The IMB disclosed that global piracy and armed robbery incidents decreased by 42.4 percent during the period with 38 incidents recorded as against 66 incidents recorded in the corresponding period, last year.
The report indicated that 27 vessels were boarded, seven vessels were fired upon and four attempted attacks occurred in the first quarter of 2019.
The report also shows that no vessels were reported as hijacked for the first time since the first quarter of 1994.
Speaking on the report, IMB Director, Pottengal Mukundan said, “These latest statistics from the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre are encouraging, as the first quarter statistics is too short a period on which to anticipate trends over the year
Mukundan said the Gulf of Guinea recorded a high number of piracy and armed robbery attacks at sea, with 22 incidents reported in the first quarter of 2019.
According to the director, Asia, Indonesia witnessed a drop in piracy activities for the first quarter of 2019, as there were only three incidents reported against anchored vessels in ports in Indonesia – the fewest reported incidents since 2010
The Director said Nigeria recorded the feat, following increased cooperation and information sharing between the Indonesian Marine Police and IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has enabled regular patrols in high-risk areas.
The golbal report insisted that the declining rate of piracy incidents worldwide in the first quarter of 2019 reinforces the importance of transparency, communication and coordination between vessels and coastal authorities.
The IMB director said, “by reporting all incidents to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre and coastal authorities, the response can be better organize.. National governments and coastal authorities can use this data to collaborate and strengthen their piracy prevention efforts,”