Ship attacks in Asia up 22% in 2014

Crystal Chan

More ships were the targets of pirates and armed robbers in Asia in 2014, as the number of incidents involving fuel siphoning grew.

Regional piracy reporting centre ReCAAP ISC revealed at its ninth governing council meeting on 19 March that 183 incidents, comprising 168 actual incidents and 15 attempted incidents, were reported.

Of the 183 incidents, 13 were Category 1 (very significant) incidents, 41 were Category 2 (moderately significant) incidents, and 114 were Category 3 (less significant) and petty theft (minimum significance) incidents.

Singapore, where ReCAAP ISC is based, has reaffirmed its commitment to regional counter-piracy efforts.

Andrew Tan, chief executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), said, “Singapore remains concerned about the regional piracy and sea robbery situation. We urge all stakeholders to work closely together to combat the situation. Singapore stands ready to co-operate with the littoral states to strengthen the co-ordination among the enforcement agencies.”

He added, “We also commend the efforts by ReCAAP ISC in engaging regional governments and the maritime community to provide timely and relevant information and analyses of the incidents. Such efforts demonstrate the commitment by ReCAAP ISC and ReCAAP Contracting Parties, including Singapore, to ensure an improvement in the piracy and sea robbery situation in Asia. As ReCAAP nears its 10th anniversary in 2016, Singapore hopes that ReCAAP ISC will take this opportunity to strengthen its role as an internationally recognised centre of excellence in information sharing.”

Singapore urges all stakeholders to work together to fight piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region. The city-state also said it is ready to work closely with the littoral states to tackle this challenge.

The expansion of ReCAAP membership from the original 14 states to 20 to date demonstrates ReCAAP’s credibility and growing relevance in the international maritime community, and highlights the importance of international co-operation in combating piracy and armed robbery. In this light, ReCAAP ISC’s governing council recognised the importance of full participation of all countries listed in Article 18(1) of the ReCAAP Agreement, and hoped that those who have yet to sign and ratify the agreement would do so, to collectively address piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.


Maritime Security News:
Statistics. They never fail to amaze. Only last week, ReCAAP issued its report for February and stated that crime at sea had fallen to a five-year low. And then their figures for 2014 show an increase of 22 per cent over 2013. This is not a surprise to anyone looking at the area, of course, and it must be assumed that under-reporting in the region is still a significant issue. Although not as serious an issue as the ongoing hijacking for cargo theft of small tankers, which remains a real problem in Southeast Asia.


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