A global maritime body has urged foreign vessels to remain vigilant when they transit the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden despite no piracy incidents in the waters in the first nine months of 2016.
The latest report by the International Chamber of Commerce received on Friday shows zero piracy incident was recorded off the Somali coast except one attempted attack in the Gulf of Aden during the period.
The drop in piracy incidents is a relief to shipping companies using the Indian Ocean that had in previous years been the target of pirates. They often paid heavy ransom to secure release of their vessels and crew.
“This is due to increased/active military action on suspected skiffs, military land-based anti-piracy operations, preventive measures and increased armed guards on board ships,” the report says.
The report, however, called on shipmasters to follow the industry’s Best Management Practices and to remain vigilant as they sail through waters off Somalia.
It also said kidnapping persisted off the coasts of West Africa and South East Asia, despite a 20-year low in piracy on the world’s seas.
The African maritime industry along the Indian Ocean had until 2013 been greatly affected by piracy, which raised the costs of shipping as insurance and private ship security companies increased their premiums to mitigate the risks.