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Web Alert: ReCAAP ISC Quarterly Report reveals a 65% decrease in piracy in Asia

News & Insights 20 October 2016

This web alert looks at the amount and location of Piracy incidents in 2016. It includes advice from ReCAAP.

Between January and September 2016, a total of 59 incidents involving armed robbery or acts of piracy were reported compared to 169 incidents during the same period in 2015. This equates to a 65% decrease.

Of these 59 incidents, 56 involved armed robbery whilst three involved acts of piracy. Furthermore, the majority of the incidents – 43 in total - occurred whilst ships were at berth or anchorage, with the remaining 16 incidents having involved ships in transit.


The locations of the incidents reported between January to September 2016 were as follows:

  • Indonesia

17 incidents occurred on board shipsthat were berthed/anchored whilst three incidents occurred on board ships whilst underway.

  • South China Sea

Three incidents were reported on board ships transiting the South China Sea.

  • Straits of Malacca and Singapore

Two incidents were reported involving ships whilst underway in the Singapore Straits.

  • India

12 incidents were reported, with 11 of these occurring on board ships at anchor or berth.

  • Vietnam

Six incidents were reported that occurred whilst ships were in port or at anchorage.

Update on the abduction of crew in the Sulu Sea

The Quarterly Report also provides an update on the abduction of crew in the Sulu Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah and Southern Philippines. As previously reported by the club here, there were six incidents between March and July 2016, resulting in 33 crew members being abducted. Of these 33, 18 crew members were released and the remaining 15 are still being held in captivity.

Another incident was reported in September 2016, resulting in a total of 36 crew members being abducted between March and September 2016. Of these 36, 23 have now been released and the remaining 13 are being held in captivity.

As a result of this spate of incidents, the defence ministers of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia issued a joint declaration in May 2016 and a joint statement in June 2016, with the aim of addressing the growing security challenges. As a result of this trilateral agreement, joint patrols are being carried out and significant inroads are being made against the Abu Sayyaf group which is believed to be responsible for the abductions.

As previously stated by ReCAAP ISC and the club, ships transiting the area should report to the Philippine Coast Guard’s Operations Centre. Their contact details are:

Philippine Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao Operation Centre
Sat Phones: +63 929686 4129 / +63 916626 0689
VHF: Channel 16 with call sign ‘ENVY#

Furthermore, ReCAAP ISC advises that the shipping industry should adopt relevant preventive measures (with reference to the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia) and that vulnerable tugs should re-route if possible.

The full report can be found here.

For more information, please contact your usual club contact or the authors of this article.

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