Singapore-based anti-piracy agency, ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) has recorded a total of 161 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia during January-September 2015.
This represents a 25 percent increase in the total incidents compared to 2014. Of the 161 reported incidents, ReCAAP classifies 150 as armed robbery and the remaining 11 as piracy. Crewmembers were unharmed in 83 percent of incidents.
The majority of the incidents on board ships while underway occurred in the Straits of Malacca
and Singapore (SOMS). Of the 110 incidents, 96 (87%) were reported in SOMS, mostly in the eastbound lane of the traffic separation scheme in the Singapore Strait.
ReCAAP has once again underlined the need for continuous efforts to tackle these incidents by the authorities and shipping industry collectively, and the importance of timely reporting by ship owners/operators/masters, and prompt responses by maritime enforcement agencies.
Majority of the incidents reported during January-September 2015 involved perpetrators operating in groups of 1 to 6 men, consistent with past trends. More than half of the incidents did not have reports of the type of weapons carried or no weapons were carried by the perpetrators, ReCAAP says.
According to UK maritime intelligence company Dryad Maritime South East Asian waters have become the most dangerous in the world, with 2015 set to become a record year for piracy incidents in the region.
Some 194 incidents, including 14 hijackings, have been reported in the vast sea area running from India to Indonesia
up to the end of September, a 38% increase on last year.
Dryad forecast the number to reach 265 by the end of 2015, as autumn months are traditionally the most prolific for local criminal gangs.