Gulf Of Guinea Is World’s Piracy Hotspot With 95% Seafarers Kidnapped

The Gulf of Guinea ranks as the piracy hotspot of the world, with more than 95% of vessel crewmembers kidnapped globally in 2020 in the area.

Insurance magnate-Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS) – offered this data. The insurer revealed the information in the Safety & Shipping Review 2021.

As per the report, 49 huge vessels went missing in 2020 with total marine losses down 50% in 10 years. The total number of shipping incidents was 2,703, a decline year-on-year.

Though the marine industry stood resilient through the COVID-19 pandemic, the crew change crisis suffered long-term outcomes.

The report also states that huge vessels pose a severe risk with costly groundings and vessel salvage operations. The Gulf of Guinea, the piracy hotspot of the world, accounted for more than 95% of vessel crew numbers kidnapped in the year 2020.

Gulf of guinea piracy representation
Image Credits: EUNAVFOR /

Input from the Report:

The international shipping sector proactively followed the long-term safety trends in 2020. However, it had to overcome challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic, utilize what it learnt from the Ever-Given Suez Canal incident and also prepare itself for the cyber and climate change difficulties ahead.

The global shipping sector recorded historic low levels of losses for the third year. However, it hasn’t been smooth at all. The present crew shortage, with rising issues posed by huge vessels, the supply chain delay woes brings tremendous challenges for ship owners and marine crews. Add to that, the guidelines they have to follow to comply with environmental targets ahead.

The South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines marine regions witness the highest marine losses in the world, with one in total three losses of 2020. There were also significant marine incidents in the area.

The cargo ships cover more than a third of the total vessels that went missing in 2020 and 40% of total losses in the last decade. Foundered situation was the primary cause of the total losses in 2020, with one in every two vessels. The machinery damage stood as the primary cause of marine incidents globally, covering a total of 40%.

The Ever-Given container vessel blocking the Suez Canal incident of March 2021 was the latest in the rising number of marine incidents that involved mega-vessels.


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