Publication of 2018’s State of Maritime Piracy report marks the ninth year that One Earth Future (OEF) has assessed the human cost of maritime piracy. Over the years, the report has evolved from being first a project of Oceans Beyond Piracy to currently being part of the Stable Seas program. Our focus has expanded from piracy off the coast of Somalia to piracy and robbery of vessels in the Gulf of Guinea, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. What has remained constant is our goal to explain and quantify the magnitude of these crimes and the profound impact they have had on stakeholders and, most importantly, the victims.
In 2018, THE GULF OF GUINEA WAS THE AREA WORST AFFECTED by piracy and maritime robbery of vessels worldwide. The number of incidents increased by 15 percent over 2017. The number of attacks where crew members were held for ransom on hijacked vessels or kidnapped for ransom from vessels was alarmingly high.
NO HIJACKINGS WERE REPORTED IN THE WESTERN INDIAN OCEAN IN 2018, including Somalia, the Gulf of Aden, or the Red Sea, in spite of pirate groups retaining the capabilities. This was the result of efforts on land by international agencies, coastal communities, and maritime authorities preventing safe haven for pirate groups. Additionally, the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMP5) by crews and onboard security teams and the efforts of the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and other navies all contributed to decreasing the number of attacks.
INCIDENTS IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN INCREASED BY 20 PERCENT. Anchorages off Barcelona and the Windward Islands remained armed robbery hotspots.
INCIDENTS IN ASIA FOR THE MOST PART REMAINED THE SAME AS IN 2017. Several suspects were arrested for crimes associated with piracy and robbery of vessels due to effective cooperation by regional law enforcement agencies.