Intertanko: Rise in Asian Piracy is "Significant and Worrying"

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday January 15, 2015

Asia experienced a significant jump in piracy attacks last year, which accounted for three quarters of global maritime piracy last year, Reuters reports

According to numbers from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), attacks in the Asia region jumped 22 percent to 183 last year, out of a total of 245 worldwide. 

"There is no hiding the fact the 22 percent increase is significant and worrying," said Tim Wilkins, regional manager for Asia at INTERTANKO

Though the attacks are less dangerous than their African counterparts and involve more minor theft, the number of such incidents is at its highest level since 2006.

The totals are also higher now than they were in 2013, when Asian cases accounted for less than 60 percent of all piracy attacks.  

Security experts are advising against raising armed enforcement measures in response to the growing threat, though the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) is proposing more naval and coast guard patrols. 

"Using armed guards against hijackings, cargo thefts and shipboard robbery incidents around Singapore could result in an escalation in the level of violence used by the perpetrators," said Mark Thomas, Asia Pacific business development manager at Dryad Maritime, a maritime security company. 

Last year, the IMB also warned about a "worrying rise" in Southeast Asian piracy incidents.