Cautious optimism as latest analysis shows reduction of maritime crime across traditional hot spots

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The Gulf of Guinea, south-east Asia and the Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA) have all seen a significant reduction of reported maritime crime throughout July, August and September of this year according to the latest Q3 analysis released by Dryad Maritime.

With the exception of the Sulu Sea, incidents of maritime crime in south-east Asia are at the lowest since 2009 and i the Indian Ocean HRA there were no confirmed acts of piracy in Q3, with the last recorded incident of piracy reported on a merchant vessel in 2014.

In the Gulf of Guinea and in Nigeria’s Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) there has been a decrease in the frequency of attacks with just four attacks against commercial shipping at sea off the Niger Delta since early July, this compares to 36 in the first six months of the year.

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Despite this quarter’s positive statistics, the analysis is released with the caveat that expectations for the remainder of the year, especially in relation to the Gulf of Guinea, should be tempered.

Ian Millen, Chief Operating Officer at Dryad Maritime, said: “We have cause for some optimism on piracy and maritime crime, with a generally stable and improving situation in some areas balanced against some serious cause for concern in others.
“In the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, Somali piracy remains broadly contained and, in south-east Asia piracy is at its lowest level since 2009, with a 65% reduction when compared to this time last year. The bad news, however, is 81 people have been kidnapped, seven have been killed and 61 remain in captivity.

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“Beyond piracy and maritime crime, the maritime domain poses other threats. From conflict situations ashore in Libya and Yemen, to the threat of anti-ship missiles in busy shipping lanes, evidenced by recent incidents in the southern Red Sea, seafarers continue to trade and transit in some dangerous waters.

“The continuing humanitarian crisis of Mediterranean migration puts other pressures on the shipping industry and its seafarers; a situation in which ships’ crews have responded to admirably.

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But despite all of the global maritime risks, we should remember those who are well-informed and well-prepared can continue to operate safely across the vast majority of the globe.”

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