According to Control Risks, the big decrease has been driven by a massive 61% decline in cases in South-east Asia, where incidents of piracy and armed robbery have reached their lowest point since 2009.
Very low levels of criminal activity continue across the Horn of Africa and a decline was also registered in South and Central America. This has contributed further to the decrease in overall maritime security incidents worldwide.
Despite this, 96% of all maritime security incidents globally were related to piracy and armed robbery, showing that this threat in particular continues to be a key concern in all regions except Europe, where there were no recorded incidents.
In European ports and waters, cases of maritime activism were the number one operational risk, contributing to 57% of all incidents globally.
Sebastian Villyn, a Maritime Consultant at Control Risks, commented: “This shift in some of the key regions illustrates how quickly patterns of maritime crime can change.
“In Asia we have seen an unprecedented decrease in attacks on commercial vessels, driven by enhanced security patrols and a crackdown on crime syndicates onshore.
“However, we have also recorded an increase in maritime abductions in the Sulu and Celebes Seas, in the western Pacific Ocean south of the Philippines. This is a worrying trend, but does not detract from the overall decrease in security incidents in Asia. Conversely, there has been an increase in the number of recorded attacks in the Gulf of Guinea this year, as well as high levels of maritime kidnaps across the region, already on par with that recorded for all of 2015.
“At the same time, it is clear that there are other pressing maritime security concerns globally, beyond piracy. Terrorist attacks in ports, though rare, have been recorded in conflict zones such as Libya and Yemen this year.
“Most recently we saw the temporary closure of the Bosphorus Strait, a key chokepoint located in north-western Turkey, following the attempted coup there. Some operators are also exposed to boarding by activist groups, which generally pose a limited security risk, but bring operational and potentially reputational repercussions.”
Fact File: Control Risks
Control Risks is a global risk consultancy specialising in political, security and integrity risk. The company enables its clients to understand and manage the risks of operating in complex or hostile environments. Through a unique combination of services, wide geographical reach and by adopting a close partnership approach with clients, Control Risks helps organisations effectively solve their problems and realise new opportunities across the world.
Source: Port Technology