Incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia have dropped to a 13-year low in the first quarter of this year, according to latest figures released by the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC).

Petro-piracy is emerging once again as a significant threat in West African waters, with the Gulf of Guinea at the epicentre, delegates at the 10th Chemical & Products Tanker Conference were told in London earlier this week.

Incidents of piracy and armed robbery in Asia have declined in 2018 over the previous year, marking the lowest number of incidents since 2007 based on records kept by ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC).

More than a quarter of those seeking support from the Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network (CRN) have been affected by piracy the charity revealed.

Piracy reporting centre ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has warned that an imminent threat of abduction of crew from merchant ships remains in waters been the Southern Philippines and East Malaysia.

Fresh from a period of relative inactivity in the situation on abduction of crew from ships in the Sulu-Celebes seas and waters off eastern Sabah, the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) and Philippine Coast Guard this week co-organised a meeting between government agencies and the shipping industry to enhance maritime safety and security in the area.

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) and World Maritime University (WMU) have signed signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost cooperation in the shared interest in increasing the knowledge of the evolving situation of piracy and sea robbery in Asia.

The Singapore-based ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) held its Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference 2018 for the first time in Hong Kong, China, aimed at reaching out to the shipping community in China and beyond. 

Piracy reporting organisation ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) reported that there were three minor incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia in April 2018, while there was no report of actual or attempted incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off eastern Sabah. There was also no incident of hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo during the period.

Responding to feedback on the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (IMO MSC) Circular MSC.1/Circ. 1334 recommending that ship masters report all incidents of piracy and sea robbery to the Rescue Coordinating Centre of the coastal states immediately, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) and the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) Maritime Roundtable noted that some sectors within the shipping industry felt the need to further simplify this reporting procedure.

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