The International Maritime Organization has published a circular containing the annual report on acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships for the year 2022.
This report (MSC.4/Circ.267) was published on April 19th, 2023.
Global and regional trends in 2022
According to information received and made available in IMO's GISIS module on piracy and armed robbery, 131 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the Organization as having occurred or been attempted in 2022.
In 2021, 172 incidents were reported, whereas the number was 229 incidents in 2020. This, therefore, constitutes a decrease of about 24% at the global level compared to last year, and the lowest number of reported incidents at the global level since 1995.
From the data referred to above, it also emerges that the areas most affected by acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships in 2022 were the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (72 incidents), West Africa (21 incidents), and South America (Pacific)* (14 incidents), followed by Indian Ocean (9 incidents), South America (Atlantic) (6 incidents), South America (Caribbean) (4 incidents), South China Sea (4 incidents) and Arabian Sea (1 incident).
*As reported to MSC 76 (MSC 76/23, paragraph 16.2), the geographically large South American and Caribbean region has been sub-divided into three regions: South America (Atlantic), South America (Pacific), and the Caribbean. This change is reflected in all relevant reports issued as of 1 January 2003.
The number of incidents that took place in the Gulf of Guinea (West Africa) decreased in 2022 by 17 compared to 2021, when 38 incidents were reported. This constitutes a decrease of about 45%.
The number of incidents involving hostage/kidnapped crew decreased by 5 to 2 incidents in 2022, with a total of 14 crew members reported as hostage/kidnapped (see annex 2). 71% of incidents in this region now occurs in international waters and it is almost on par with the global average of 70% (see annex 3).
The number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore increased to 72 from 70 incidents reported in 2021. About 81% of the incidents reported in 2022 were targeting a steaming ship in these Straits.
The number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported in the South China Sea decreased by 11 from 15 incidents reported to the Organization in 2021. This represents a decrease of 73%, a decreasing trend of incidents in this region since 2013, when 142 incidents were reported.
The number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Latin American regions and the Caribbean region taken overall decreased by 15 from 39 incidents reported in 2021.
This total includes incidents in the Latin America Pacific region which remain at a level of 14 incidents, down by 6 from 2021, whereas the Caribbean region is down by 12 incidents to 4 incidents in 2022. The Latin America Atlantic region has seen an increase from 3 incidents in 2021 to 6 incidents in 2022.
The data reveals that the total number of crew reported as taken hostage/kidnapped in 2022 remains at 24 crew members, and this is a decrease from 48 crew members held hostage/kidnapped in 2021. Around 58% of the crew members were reportedly taken hostage/kidnapped in incidents in West Africa in 2022.
The total number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to the Organization as having occurred or having been attempted from 1984 to the end of December 2022 has risen to 8,718.
Information on each report of actual or attempted acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to the Organization is available in the piracy and armed robbery module in GISIS, as explained in paragraph 5.
The annexes to this document provide a breakdown of the information referred to above as follows:
- annex 1 provides a list of all acts reported to have occurred or to have been attempted in 2022 in chronological order of occurrence per each geographical area;
- annex 2 provides a regional analysis of acts reported to have been allegedly committed or attempted during 2022;
- annex 3 provides a graphical presentation by area, on an annual basis, of the acts reported to have been allegedly committed or attempted during 2022;
- annex 4 provides a graphical presentation by area, on an annual basis, of
reports received between 1984 and 31 December 2022; and
- annex 5 provides a list of all acts reported to have occurred or to have been attempted in waters off the coast of Somalia in 2022 in chronological order of occurrence.
For more information, please see the document below (available only to subscribers):
REPORTS ON ACTS OF PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS - Annual Report – 2022
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