The world’s biggest shipping company demanded a more effective military response to surging pirate attacks and record kidnappings off the coast of West Africa.
The number of attacks on vessels globally jumped 20% last year to 195, with 135 crew kidnapped, the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre said in a Jan. 13 report.
The agency said the Gulf of Guinea accounted for 95% of hostages taken in 22 separate instances, and all three of the hijackings that occurred.
The attacks have pushed up insurance and other costs for shippers operating off West Africa, with some resorting to hiring escort vessels manned by armed navy personnel.
A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, which transports about 15% of the globe’s seaborne freight, said decisive action needs to be taken.
Abdullahi Hassan has more details in the following report.