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.

There are new security recommendations for shipowners transiting the southern part of the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb as threats from the conflict in Yemen spill over into the busy commercial shipping lane.

Intercargo has expressed deep concern over the latest piracy attack off Nigeria in which 10 seafarers were kidnapped from a bulk carrier on 14 December.

A Japan Coast Guard (JCG) vessel will leave Hakodate on 28 December for joint anti-piracy exercises in India and Malaysia.

Although piracy figures have fallen it remains a “massive concern” for seafarers according to charity Sailors’ Society.

Asian shipowners say the Best Management Practices version 4 (BMP4) for protection against piracy needs updated in light of the changes to the threat faced by shipping in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa region.

Anti-piracy body ReCAAP has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF).

Abductions of crew by terrorists in the southern Philippines remain the top concern for Asian anti-piracy body ReCAAP, despite a lull in incidents since May.

Maritime piracy and armed robbery against ships have dipped to the lowest number in five years, according to the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report, though the decline has been marred by the more serious incidents of vessel hijacking.

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