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Global piracy incidents Lowest levels in decades Sustained efforts needed

Global piracy incidents Lowest levels in decades

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) calls for efforts to be sustained worldwide as maritime piracy and armed robbery attacks reached their lowest recorded level in almost three decades.

The ICC IMB’s annual report recorded 115 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in 2022 – compared to 132 in 2021 – with half of them occurring in Southeast Asian waters, particularly in the Singapore Straits, where incidents continue to rise.

Perpetrators were successful in gaining access to vessels in 95% of the reported incidents broken down as 107 vessels boarded, two vessels hijacked, five attempted attacks and one vessel fired upon. In many cases vessels were either anchored or steaming when boarded, with nearly all the incidents occurring during the hours of darkness.

Caution urged in the Gulf of Guinea

The continued and much needed reduction is attributed to an overall decrease of piratical activity in the highly risky waters of the Gulf of Guinea – down from 35 incidents in 2021 to 19 in 2022. Sustained efforts are however needed to ensure the continued safety of seafarers in the Gulf of Guinea region, which remains dangerous as evidenced by two incidents in the last quarter of 2022.

In mid-November a Ro-Ro vessel was commandeered by pirates, around 28nm SW of Turtle Islands, Sierra Leone. All crew were taken hostage and the pirates tried to navigate the vessel through shallow waters resulting in the vessel running aground. The crew managed to free themselves and took refuge in the citadel until the Sierra Leone authorities boarded the vessel. In mid-December, a Suezmax tanker was also fired upon, 87nm NW of Bata, Equatorial Guinea.

IMB Director Michael Howlett said: ‘The IMB applauds the prompt and decisive actions of the international navies and regional authorities in the Gulf of Guinea which have positively contributed to the drop in reported incidents and ensuring continued safety to crews and trade. Both these latter incidents do however cause concern and illustrate that efforts to enhance maritime security in the region must be sustained.’

Masters are also strongly encouraged to follow industry Best Management Practice recommendations in these waters.

Incidents on the rise in the Singapore Straits

A third of all incidents reported globally in 2022 have been in the Singapore Straits with underway vessels successfully boarded in all 38 incidents. The majority of vessels boarded were over 50,000 dt, including six laden vessels over 150,000 dt. While these are considered low level opportunistic crimes and fall under the definition of armed robbery, crews continue to be at risk. In the 38 reported incidents, two crew were threatened and four were taken hostage for the duration of the incident. It has also been reported that in at least three incidents a gun was used to threaten the crew.

IMB Director Michael Howlett added: ‘We commend local authorities for investigating nearly all reported incidents. Being one of the most crucial and busy waterways for trade, these incidents continue to be a cause of concern as they not only have an impact on crew safety but also potential navigational and environmental consequences.’

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre also believes there is a degree of under reporting as well as late reporting of incidents from these waters and encourages Masters to report all incidents as early as possible so that local authorities are able to identify, investigate and apprehend the perpetrators.

Incidents reported in the Indonesian archipelago remain at relatively low levels thanks to the continued efforts of the Indonesian Marine Police.

Threat subsists in South America

Despite a noticeable decrease in the number of reported incidents in Central and South American waters, ports in Brazil, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico and Haiti continue to be affected by the crime of armed robbery. The reduction is partially attributed to the decrease in reported incidents in Callao anchorage in Peru which saw a 33% decrease compared to 2021.

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre

Founded at a time when seafarers had little option to report incidents, IMB PRC remains a single point of contact to report all crimes of maritime piracy and armed robbery, 24 hours a day. Since 1991, their prompt forwarding of reports, and liaison with response agencies, broadcasts to shipping via GMDSS Safety Net Services, and email alerts to CSOs, all provided free of cost, help the response against piracy and armed robbery globally.

As evidenced by the standing up of multiple regional co-operation, reporting and response mechanisms, its reports have over time increased awareness, resulting in the allocation of adequate resources to make waters safer.

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During the IHMA 14th International Congress in Morocco, the African Harbour Masters Committee (AHMC) held elections for its Executive Committee.

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The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners, celebrated at the 14th IHMA Congress in May.

The key theme of the 2024 event was The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports. Tanger Med Port Authority hosted the congress at the Tanger Med Port Center.

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Brought to you by OceanWise and Brewzone Africa - Join the first Charting Water Workshop entitled “Harnessing Environmental Data for Hydrography" which is running on the 15th - 16th April 2024 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Lagos, Nigeria.

Bringing hydrography professionals together from all over West Africa, this intimate 2-day workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure. We will also have a number of key real-world case studies and local experts in attendance to provide some best practice and recent hands-on experiences.

Full details of the developing programme and registration can be found here on our Eventbrite page

Registration is now open. Spaces are limited so please register now to secure your place.

What will it cover?
This workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure.

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Join us on a marine adventure in Morocco. The 14th International Harbour Master Congress will take place at Tanger Med Port Centre from 21-24 May 2024. This year’s theme is The Marine Adventure – Evolving and Adapting to Change in Today’s Ports. You are welcome to come along for three days of presentations, deliberations and discussions covering every step of the port call process. On the fourth day, you can enjoy a guided tour of the Port of Tranger Med. To learn more, or to register for the event, please visit the IHMA Congress Website.

 

INTRODUCING TANGER MED

Tanger Med is the 1st port in Africa and in the Mediterranean.

It’s a global logistics gateway located on the Strait of Gibraltar and connected to more than 180 ports worldwide with handling capacities of: 9 million containers, exports of 1 million new vehicles, transit of 7 million passengers and 700,000 trucks on an annual basis.

CARGOES HANDLED

CONTAINER TRAFFIC: SURPASSING TEH 8 MILLION MARK

In 2023, Tanger Med Port processed 8,617,410 TEUs*, marking a growth of 13.4% compared to 2022. This remarkable achievement, equivalent to 95% of the port's nominal capacity, was accomplished 4 years ahead of targets.

The outstanding performance is attributed to the successful operations of terminals TC1 and TC4, managed by Maersk-APM, and the continuous development of terminal TC3, operated by Tanger Alliance (A joint venture owned by Marsa Maroc with a 50% stake, in partnership with Eurogate holding 40% and Hapag Lloyd holding 10%). Additionally, 2023 witnessed record productivity levels, surpassing monthly peaks of 800,000 TEUs handled.

RO-RO TRAFFIC ON THE RISE
In 2023, 477,993 trucks were processed, representing a 4.1% increase from 2022. Industrial product traffic saw a significant surge of 14.3% compared to the previous year, offsetting a 7.7% decrease in agribusiness product traffic.

INCREASE IN NEW VEHICLE TRAFFIC
The two vehicle terminals in the port complex handled 578,446 vehicles in 2023, reflecting a 21% increase from 2022. This traffic primarily includes 341,758 vehicles for export, produced by Renault factories in Melloussa and SOMACA in Casablanca, along with 176,208 vehicles exported by the Stellantis plant in Kénitra.

RISE IN SOLID AND LIQUID BULK TRAFFIC
Liquid bulk traffic experienced a 6% growth compared to 2022, a total of 9,838,157 tons of handled hydrocarbons. Simultaneously, solid bulk traffic witnessed a 44% increase from the previous year, totalling 581,042 tons processed.

PASSENGER TRAFFIC: RETURN TO NORMAL
In 2023, Tanger Med Port Complex welcomed 2,700,747 passengers, marking a 30% growth from 2022. This traffic has returned to pre-COVID-19 crisis levels.

GLOBAL TONNAGE: SUBSTANTIAL GROWTH
Tanger Med Port Complex handled 122 million tons of goods in 2023, reflecting a 13.6% increase from 2022, with 21% in Import/Export. This recorded global traffic is highest at the Strait of Gibraltar and across the Mediterranean. This traffic also represents more than half of the total tonnage handled by all ports in Morocco.

MARITIME TRAFFIC ON THE RISE
In 2023, a total of 16,900 ships called at Tanger Med Port Complex, marking a 17% growth from 2022, including 1,113 mega-ships (over 290 meters), representing a 16% increase from the previous year.

These results underscore the relevance of the vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI for this strategic project.
Tanger Med remains firmly focused on the future, ready to face new challenges and strengthen its position as a major logistics hub in Morocco and the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Crown Towers, Perth, Australia
AMPI

For 25 years AMPI has been recognised as the professional body for developing, setting and leading in the evolution of industry standards, safety management protocols and advising regulatory bodies on matters related to Marine Pilotage.

As a globally recognised organisation and partner of the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA), we directly contribute to the work of the International Maritime Organisation. With over 260 active pilot members, we have the experience and know-how to develop widely recognised industry guidelines including initial and continual pilotage training standards. AMPI continues to influence the development of world-leading practice and in doing so brings a higher level of safety to the ports and regions where our members operate.

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During the IHMA 14th International Congress in Morocco, the African Harbour Masters Committee (AHMC) held elections for its Executive Committee.

18 June 2024

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners, celebrated at the 14th IHMA Congress in May.

The key theme of the 2024 event was The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports. Tanger Med Port Authority hosted the congress at the Tanger Med Port Center.