The International Maritime Bureau (BMI) has called for greater vigilance on ships transiting the Gulf of Guinea which accounted for 43% of all piracy incidents reported in the first quarter of 2021.
According to the BMI's Piracy Reporting Center, it had recorded 38 incidents since the start of the year, up from 47 in the first quarter of 2020. These are 33 vessels boarded, two attempted. attacks, two ships having come under fire and a hijacked vessel.
Despite this decrease in piracy incidents compared to the first quarter of 2020, acts of violence targeting crews are on the increase compared to previous years, notes the same source.
The new China agency, citing the BMI, specifies that "40 crew members have been kidnapped since the beginning of the year, against 22 in the first quarter of 2020, with one of them killed".
Michael Howlett, director of the BMI said pirates operating in the Gulf of Guinea are well equipped to attack even further offshore and are not afraid to take violent action against innocent crews.