The number of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asian waters increased by 32% until August this year compared to same period last year, data reported to a regional centre shows.
Until August 2023 some 78 incidents were reported to the information sharing centre of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).
On the other hand, during the January – August period last year some 59 incidents were reported.
Data also shows that last year a total of 84 incidents were reported during the entire 12 months. On the other hand, within eight months of this year, some 78 incidents have already been reported hinting at a significant rise of incidents.
The half-yearly report of ReCAAP had shown a 40% increase in incidents this year compared to the same period last year.
The increase of incidents during the first six months had occurred in the Philippines, Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS), Thailand and Vietnam.
The major concern was the continued occurrence of incidents at the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, like in the recent past.
Data shows that of the total 78 incidents in Asian water during the January – August period this year some 56 incidents alone occurred in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore compared to 38 incidents during the same period last year.
In a latest weekly report, the ReCAAP advised ships to continue to exercise vigilance while underway or at anchor/berth at ports/anchorages; and the law enforcement agencies to enhance surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to reported incidents.
“Ship master and crew are to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State RCC and flag State.., it said.
They are also asked to exercise vigilance and adopt appropriate preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide 2 to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, said the regional centre.