FIELD LISTING :: MARITIME THREATS
Country
Atlantic Ocean West African piracy is a continuing threat with 33 attacks in 2017 compared to 36 in 2016; Nigerian pirates are very aggressive, operating as far as 200 nm offshore and boarding 20 ships in 2017
Bangladesh the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Bangladesh remain a risk for armed robbery against ships; in 2017, the number of attacks against commercial vessels increased to 11 over three such incidents in 2016
Djibouti the International Maritime Bureau reports offshore waters in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden remain a high risk for piracy; the presence of several naval task forces in the Gulf of Aden and additional anti-piracy measures on the part of ship operators, including the use of on-board armed security teams, contributed to the drop in incidents; there were three incidents in the Gulf of Aden and one in the Red Sea in 2017; Operation Ocean Shield, the NATO/EUNAVFOR naval task force established in 2009 to combat Somali piracy, concluded its operations in December 2016 as a result of the drop in reported incidents over the last few years; the EU naval mission, Operation ATALANTA, continues its operations in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean through 2020; naval units from Japan, India, and China also operate in conjuction with EU forces; China has established a logistical base in Djibouti to support its deployed naval units in the Horn of Africa
Ecuador the International Maritime Bureau continues to report the territorial and offshore waters as at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen; after several years with no incidents, two attacks were reported in 2017
Indian Ocean the International Maritime Bureau continues to report the territorial waters of littoral states and offshore waters as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships, particularly in the Gulf of Aden, along the east coast of Africa, the Bay of Bengal, and the Strait of Malacca; the presence of several naval task forces in the Gulf of Aden and additional anti-piracy measures on the part of ship operators, including the use of on-board armed security teams, have reduced incidents of piracy; in response, Somali-based pirates, using hijacked fishing trawlers as "mother ships" to extend their range, shifted operations as far south as the Mozambique Channel, eastward to the vicinity of the Maldives, and northeastward to the Strait of Hormuz; 2017 saw an increase in attacks over 2016, with three incidents in the Gulf of Aden, one in the Red Sea, and five off the coast of Somalia; Operation Ocean Shield, the NATO naval task force established in 2009 to combat Somali piracy, concluded its operations in December 2016 as a result of the drop in reported incidents over the last few years; the EU naval mission, Operation ATALANTA, continues its operations in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean through 2020; naval units from Japan, India, and China also operate in conjuction with EU forces; China has established a logistical base in Djibouti to support its deployed naval units in the Horn of Africa
Indonesia the International Maritime Bureau continues to report the territorial and offshore waters in the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; attacks declined from 49 incidents in 2016 to 43 in 2017, although Indonesian waters remained the most dangerous in the world and accounted for more than 20% of all incidents reported world-wide; in 2017, 37 commercial vessels were boarded and one hijacked; during 2017, 13 crew members were taken hostage; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift
Malaysia the International Maritime Bureau reports that the territorial and offshore waters in the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea remain high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; in the past, commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift; seven attacks were reported in 2017 including four ships boarded, two hijacked, and 32 crew taken hostage
Nigeria the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the Niger Delta and Gulf of Guinea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery of ships; in 2017, 33 commercial vessels were boarded or attacked compared with 36 attacks in 2016; in 2017, 20 ships were boarded 16 of which were underway, seven were fired upon, and 65 crew members were abducted; nearly half of all reports of vessels being fired upon occur in Nigerian waters; Nigerian pirates have extended the range of their attacks to as far away as Cote d'Ivoire and as far as 170 nm offshore
Pacific Ocean the Inside Passage offers protected waters from southeast Alaska to Puget Sound (Washington state); although the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of littoral states and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships, reports of attacks have generally declined from 2015 to 2016; an emerging threat area lies in the Celebes and Sulu Seas between the Philippines and Malaysia where 42 crew were kidnapped or taken hostage and two killed in 2017; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargoes stolen; crew and passengers are often held for ransom, murdered, or cast adrift
Peru the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Peru are a risk for armed robbery against ships; in 2017, two attacks against commercial vessels were reported down from 11 in 2016; most of these occured in the main port of Callao
Philippines the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; during 2017, 22 attacks were reported in and around the Philippines including 19 ships that were boarded, one fired upon, 10 crewman kidnapped for ransom, and two killed; an emerging threat area lies in the Celebes and Sulu Seas between the Philippines and Malaysia where it is believed the pirates involved are associated with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorist organization; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift
Singapore the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift; the Singapore Straits saw four attacks against commercial vessels in 2017, a slight increase over the two attacks in 2016
Somalia the International Maritime Bureau continues to report the territorial and offshore waters in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean as a region of significant risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; during 2017, five vessels were attacked or hijacked compared with one in 2016; Operation Ocean Shield, the NATO naval task force established in 2009 to combat Somali piracy, concluded its operations in December 2016 as a result of the drop in reported incidents over the last few years; additional anti-piracy measures on the part of ship operators, including the use of on-board armed security teams, have reduced piracy incidents in that body of water; Somali pirates tend to be heavily armed with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades; the use of "mother ships" from which skiffs can be launched to attack vessels allows these pirates to extend the range of their operations hundreds of nautical miles offshore
Tanzania the International Maritime Bureau reports that shipping in territorial and offshore waters in the Indian Ocean remain at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships, especially as Somali-based pirates extend their activities south; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen
Venezuela the International Maritime Bureau continues to report the territorial and offshore waters in the Caribbean Sea as at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen; in 2016, there were five attacks reported and this increased to 12 attacks in 2017 making Venezuela the fourth most dangerous area in the World
Vietnam the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift; the number of reported incidents declined from nine in 2016 to two in 2017, primarily near the port of Vung Tau
World the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports that 2017 saw a continued slight decrease in global pirate activities; in 2017, pirates attacked a total of 180 ships world-wide including boarding 136 ships, hijacking six ships, and firing on 16; this activity is down from 191 incidents in 2016; in 2017, the number of hostages dropped to 91, however, the number of seafarers kidnapped for ransom increased dramatically to 75 with nearly all taken off West Africa; three mariners were killed world-wide in 2017;
Operation Ocean Shield, the NATO naval task force established in 2009 to combat Somali piracy, concluded its operations in December 2016 as a result of the drop in reported incidents over the last few years; the EU naval mission, Operation ATALANTA, continues its operations in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean through 2020; naval units from Japan, India, and China also operate in conjuction with EU forces; China has established a logistical base in Djibouti to support its deployed naval units in the Horn of Africa;
the Horn of Africa continued to see pirate activities with 12 incidents in 2017, a slight increase over 2016; the decrease in successful pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa since the peak in 2007 was due, in part, to anti-piracy operations by international naval forces, the hardening of vessels, and the increased use of armed security teams aboard merchant ships; despite these preventative measures, the assessed risk remains high;
West African piracy is a continuing threat with 33 attacks in 2017 compared to 36 in 2016; Nigerian pirates are very aggressive, operating as far as 200 nm offshore and boarding 20 ships in 2017; attacks in South Asian waters remain at low levels with an increase in Bangladesh from three incidents in 2016 to 11 in 2017; Peru reported two incidents in 2017, down from 11 in 2016; attacks in Vietnam declined from nine in 2016 to two in 2017; the majority of global attacks against shipping have occured in the offshore waters of five countries - Nigeria, Indonesia, Philippines, Venezuela, and Bangladesh
Yemen the International Maritime Bureau reports offshore waters in the Gulf of Aden are high risk for piracy; numerous vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crew, passengers, and cargo have been held for ransom; the presence of several naval task forces in the Gulf of Aden and additional anti-piracy measures on the part of ship operators reduced the incidence of piracy in that body of water; one attack was reported in 2016 while three ships reported being fired upon in 2017