Piracy Incidents Decline, But the Future Is Uncertain

Piracy Incidents Decline, But the Future Is Uncertain – The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports that maritime piracy in the first half of 2022 reached its lowest level since 1994, with 58 instances, down from 68 in the same period last year. In spite of this, the group warns against complacency.

IMB recorded 195 real and attempted assaults for the whole year of 2020, up from 162 in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to the increase in pirate activity, since it is linked to underlying social, political, and economic issues, and 2022 may mark the beginning of a decline.

Numerous individuals outside the maritime and insurance sectors are unaware that piracy remains an expensive threat in the twenty-first century. The multinational insurer Zurich believes that piracy costs the world economy $12 billion annually. In its 2022 Safety and Shipping Review, global insurer Allianz notes that in terms of the number of loss-causing occurrences worldwide, piracy ranks below machinery damage or failure, collision, and contact, and that overall losses have decreased by 57% over the last decade.

However, the shipping industry is susceptible to disruptions and, as Allianz notes, has been affected on multiple fronts by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including loss of life and vessels in the Black Sea and disruption of trade, as well as challenges to day-to-day operations that affect crews, cost and availability of fuel, and the rising cyber risk.

Piracy Incidents Decline, But the Future Is Uncertain
Piracy Incidents Decline, But the Future Is Uncertain


Allianz states that, “to yet, the greatest effect has been seen by boats operating in the Black Sea and/or trade with Russia.” “Around 2,000 seamen were stuck onboard boats in Ukrainian ports when the crisis began. A number of crew members were slain as they faced the continual fear of assaults while having limited access to food and medical supplies.

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According to a recent industry study, 44% of marine professionals have stated that their business has been the target of a cyberattack during the last three years, according to Allianz. The accumulation of cargo exposes at mega ports has been on the rise, and as ports become more dependent on technology, a power outage or cyberattack may completely shut down a port.

The busiest cargo port in India was attacked by ransomware in February 2022, after events at U.S. and South African ports in previous years. A study by Allianz found that one-third of firms do not undergo regular cyber security training or have a cyber-response strategy.

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