WORLDWIDE maritime crime incidents have increased 22 per cent in the first half of 2015, according to the latest figures from Dryad Maritime reports American Shipper.
There were 120 incidences of piracy and crime reported in southeast Asia since January, the most of any region.
Of those incidents, 12 were vessel hijackings, a 33.4 per cent increase year on year, said Dryad, a British marine intelligence and operations company.
The arrest of two sets of hijackers earlier in the year helped slow seizures of small product tankers, but Dryad also warned hijackings are likely to resume in July.
In other regions, kidnapping of crew for ransom remains the most significant threat. In the Gulf of Guinea, for example at least 20 mariners were kidnapped from vessels in April and May alone.
"Our latest figures for piracy and maritime crime highlight the uncertain, chaotic and, sometimes, dangerous nature of global maritime operations," said Dryad chief operating officer Ian Millen.
"The continued containment of the Somali piracy threat is both welcome and a testament to the measures taken to tackle it, but other areas give us more cause for concern.
Southeast Asia is in urgent need of a joined-up effort to tackle the criminal gangs who are hijacking small regional tankers and robbing other vessels in transit, with the Singapore Strait being in dire need of some effective, coordinated action.
Source : HKSG.