(Ecofin Agency) - Acts of maritime piracy reported in the Gulf of Guinea increased alarmingly in 2019. According to a report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) of the International Chamber of Commerce, a total 121 acts of maritime piracy was recorded in that part of Africa, 50% higher than the 78 incidents in 2018.
Most affected countries are Nigeria with 35 cases recorded, Cameroon and Ghana with 6 and 3, respectively. Overall, these incidents in the Gulf of Guinea account for around 74% of the maritime piracy acts recorded worldwide by the IMB in 2019. However, while piracy increased in the region, it has declined worldwide from 201 acts in 2018 to 162 in 2019. Over the period reviewed, incidents recorded included 4 hijacked ships, 11 ships fired upon, 17 attempted attacks and 130 ships boarded. IBM says the situation is a consequence of the lack of warning and response structures, which undermines communication and coordination among ships in the Gulf of Guinea. According to Michael Howlett, director of IMB, without the necessary warning structures in place, it is not possible to accurately spot high-risk areas at sea and deal with the phenomenon.