Piracy and armed robbery incidents against ships in Asian waters have dropped by 58 per cent last year with no incident reporting in Indian waters since May, a multilateral group to enhance maritime cooperation has said.
Situation in Indian waters have improved, as 12 category-4 or minor incidents like petty thefts have reported during the period January-May 2016, the same number of cases in 2015.
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“Generally speaking, the situation in India has improved and there was no incident since May last year,” said Masafumi Kuroki, executive director of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).
The situation has improved following increased efforts by the Indian Coast Guard, he said. “We hope these efforts by the Indian authorities will continue this year,” Kuroki said as he hoped for improving situation in the Indian waters including Port Kandla, known for being one of the hit areas for ships.
Overall, there were 84 incidents, five of piracy and 79 armed robbery against ships in Asian waters last year, down 58 per cent from 203 in 2015, which itself was highest from 187 in 2014.
Kuroki also said that there were no reported incidents in waters around Sri Lanka but there were one reported actual case and one attempted incident in Bangladesh last year, down from 10 in 2015.
ReCAAP believes there has been a tremendous improvement in ship safety in the Indian Ocean largely due to the increasing presence of naval ships.
ReCAAP is the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery in Asia. To date, 20 States have become Contracting Parties to the group.