More Pirates Working Waters Around Africa

Now on the Atlantic side of the continent. Nigeria: Piracy on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea | Africa | DW | 13.04.2018

International efforts in the last 10 years or so have reduced piracy in the Horn of Africa. (Reduced, not eliminated.) But sailing on the account is still an issue globally.

According to the [International Maritime Bureau], pirates in the Gulf of Guinea target all kinds of vessels. Crews from fishing and refrigerated cargo vessels, or even oil tankers, have been taken hostage or kidnapped.

Ransoms are usually paid by commercial vessels, and can be $500,000 or more. Sometimes much more. That is a lot of money when the alternative is subsistence farming, or starving.

Maritime piracy was in the mainstream press for an instant. They even made a Tom Hanks movie on the subject. And then it was forgotten again.

Piracy on the High Seas is Still a Problem

It may have dropped off the news coverage, but that isn’t because the problem is solved. Regional leaders meet over security in Gulf of Guinea | Fox News.

For those of you who are geographically challenged, the Gulf of Guinea is on the west coast of Africa.

The Gulf of Guinea, which includes waters off Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, has emerged as a new danger-zone with pirates targeting fuel cargo and loading it onto other ships to sell on the lucrative black market, rather than seeking ransom to release ships, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said earlier this week.

With all the attention focused on Somalia, and the east coast of Africa, it seems that the fires have broken out in other places. And gotten less attention.

The year 2012 marked the first time since the surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia that the reported number of both ships and seafarers attacked in the Gulf of Guinea surpassed that of the Gulf of Aden and of the western Indian Ocean