15% decrease in total number of piracy and sea robbery incidents in Asia for 2021
The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has released its Annual Report on piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia in 2021, and here are the key highlights.
- There was a total of 82 incidents of armed robbery against ships reported in Asia in 2021, comprising 77 actual incidents and 5 attempted incidents. This represents a decrease of 15% compared to 2020. There was no piracy incident in 2021.
- The improvement can be attributed to the decrease of incidents across many countries and locations, namely, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South China Sea and Sulu-Celebes Seas.
- There was zero incident in Bangladesh, South China Sea as well as the Sulu-Celebes Seas. This is an encouraging development.
- However, there was an increase of 15 incidents in the Singapore Strait (49 incidents in 2021 compared to 34 incidents in 2020).
2. 事件的严重性-Severity of incidents
从事件的严重程度来看，除第2类事件从2020年的6宗增加至2021年的8 宗外，其他类别的事件数量总体上均有所减少，尤其是第 1 类（最严重事件）更没有发生，是过去15年以来首次。
- In terms of the severity of incidents, with the exception of Category 2 incidents that increased from 6 incidents in 2020 to 8 incidents in 2021, there was an overall decrease in the number of incidents for the other categories. In particular, there was no incident of Category 1 (most serious incident), which is the first time in the last 15 years.
3. 2021年值得关注海域-Areas of Concern in 2021
- An increase of number of incidents in the Singapore Strait from 34 incidents in 2020 to 49 incidents in 2021, although the level of severity was not high. As the perpetrators have not been arrested, there is a possibility that such incidents continue to occur.
- An increase of violence level towards crew at the Manila Anchorages. Out of 9 incidents, 4 incidents involved perpetrators armed with gun/knife and threatened the crew and tied them up. The Philippine authorities arrested the leader and members of a criminal group in September and November. No incident has been reported since September 2021.
- For the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah, there is no abduction of crew incident reported since January 2020. However, as the leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group are still at large, the threat of the abduction of crew incidents remains high.
4. 結論- Conclusion
ReCAAP 执行董事Masafumi Kuroki 表示，虽然亚洲海盗和武装抢劫的整体形势在2021年有所改善，但所有相关人士应保持警惕，并共同努力打击罪案，才是进一步改善情况的关键所在。对于沿海国而言，该中心建议加强巡逻和有效执法，以及与其他沿岸国家之间保持密切合作，每宗将涉案者逮捕的信息，都对传达沿海国认真对待海上安全非常重要。而船舶方面亦应及时向沿海国报告任何事件。
- “While the overall piracy and armed robbery situation in Asia has improved in 2021, continued vigilance and collective efforts of all stakeholders are the key to making further improvement. To the coastal States, we recommend increased patrols and effective law enforcement as well as close cooperation between littoral states. Arrest of perpetrators is important to send the message that coastal States take sea robberies seriously. On the part of ships, they are reminded to report any incidents to the coastal States in a timely manner,” said Mr. Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP.
- The key points of the Annual Report 2021 will be shared with the maritime community at the virtual Nautical Forum to be organised by the Centre. Into its 13th run, the aim of the Nautical Forum is for the Centre to engage the 21 Contracting Parties of ReCAAP as well as the shipping industry, diplomatic community, government agencies and academia on the key trends of the piracy and sea robbery incidents in Asia.