The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports increased maritime piracy incidents in 2023.
The IMB’s annual report saw a rise in piracy and armed robbery against ships, with 120 incidents reported in 2023 compared to 115 in 2022. The report also showed 105 vessels were boarded, nine attacks were attempted, four vessels were hijacked, and two were fired upon worldwide in 2023.
Of particular concern is the increase in the number of crew members taken hostage and kidnapped, which has jumped from 41 to 73 and from two to 14 in 2022 and 2023 respectively. Additionally, 10 crew members were threatened, four injured, and one assaulted in 2023.
The successful hijacking of a handymax bulk carrier off the coast of Somalia on December 14, 2023, marked the first such incident since 2017.
“This is a cause for concern and the IMB is once again calling for all masters and vessel owners to continue following the recommendations and reporting procedures as per the latest version of the Best Management Practices,” said IMB Director Michael Howlett. He added that the incident demonstrates the continued capabilities of the Somali pirates.
“We are concerned due to the late reporting and under reporting by vessels. The IMB continues to encourage timely reporting of all incidents, as it contributes to a more accurate understanding of risk,” said Howlett.