Comparison of 2002 Figures of the International Maritime Bureau

By Mark Bruyneel

Date: 2003, April 19

Starting in 1999 the Piracy Reporting Centre of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has started publishing Weekly Piracy Reports on the website of the ICC-IMB. The incidents mentioned in these weekly reports concern warnings and incidents which have been reported during the week on the past week before publication. Incidents reported after this week are not included in later weekly reports. These are included, however in the Quarterly Reports of the IMB and in the Annual Report which is published each year in January. Warnings reported in the Weekly Reports may also later turn out to be false and are consequently not included in the Quarterly Reports and the Annual Report. Incidents in the reports of the IMB include, of course, armed robbery incidents but for simplicity I call all incidents here piracy incidents.

In the picture below the weekly reported (actual) incidents in 2002 are compared to the final figures for these weeks in the annual report for 2002:

Comparison of incidents

The tables below contain the specific numbers reported in the Weekly Reports against the reported numbers in the Annual Report. The difference between the numbers in the Weekly Reports and those in the Annual Report give a good indication of the delay which is often caused by belated reporting of incidents. The difference can be negative as well because of faults in the initially reported dates of incidents.

Week

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Weekly reports

0

4

12

8

3

5

6

3

4

6

8

8

6

11

7

5

Annual Report

0

6

15

7

4

4

3

5

4

5

11

11

10

10

4

5

difference

0

2

3

-1

1

-1

-3

2

0

-1

3

3

4

-1

-3

0



Week

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

Weekly reports

7

8

3

11

4

7

4

6

8

5

8

10

9

Annual Report

8

10

8

8

7

3

8

4

9

7

8

12

11

Difference

1

2

5

-3

3

-4

4

-2

1

2

0

2

2



Week

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

Weekly reports

7

4

6

3

7

10

8

5

9

6

6

8

6

Annual Report

8

6

5

2

6

12

8

8

9

5

6

7

7

difference

1

2

-1

-1

-1

2

0

3

0

-1

0

-1

1



Week

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

Weekly reports

4

6

12

6

6

7

7

6

8

5

5

Annual Report

7

6

12

4

8

7

6

3

6

9

5

difference

3

0

0

-2

2

0

-1

-3

-2

4

0

Based on these figures the general difference between reported incidents in the Weekly Reports for 2002 against the reported incidents in the Annual Report is close to 16 : 17. Sixteen incidents are reported soon and are included in the Weekly reports and afterwards (belatedly) often another incident is reported. The same appears if you compare the total figures of the Weekly Reported incidents (348) with the total of the annual report (370). This suggests that the reported incidents are reported faster than last year when the general difference was 4 : 5. A correction needs to be made, however, for incidents which were initially reported to the Piracy Reporting Centre but were not included in the annual report. These include suspicious ships etc. and wrongly reported incidents which turned out NOT to be piracy incidents. The number of weekly incidents not included in the annual report is 42. If we compare the corrected total figures of the Weekly Reported incidents (306) with the total of the annual report (370) we get a general difference of 82,70% which translates to between 4 : 5 and 5 : 6. This still suggests that the reported incidents are reported faster than last year when the general difference was close to 4 : 5. Apparently the Piracy Reporting Centre receives more reports sooner.
The general trend for 2002 is that the number of reported incidents over the entire year stays overall the same. There are regional and local fluctuations, however: the number of reported incidents for the Australian and European regions has stayed roughly the same. There were only a few incidental reports. The American region, however showed an increase of over 300% from 21 incidents in 2001 to 65 in 2002. The countries in this region which show the largest increases are: Brazil (from 3 to 6). Colombia (from 1 to 7), Ecuador (from 8 to 12), Peru (from 1 to 6), Venezuela (from 1 to 8) and Guyana (from 0 to 12). The Indian region shows a slight decrease from 54 incidents in 2001 to 52 in 2002. The increased activity of the Indian Navy and coast guard seems to have some effect since the number of reports for India has fallen from 27 in 2001 to 18 in 2002. Bangladesh, however, shows an increase from 25 in 2001 to 32 in 2002. The African Region shows an overall decrease from 86 in 2001 to 78 in 2002. The most remarkable countries that show decreases are: Cameroon (from 7 to 5), Côte d'Ivoire (from 9 to 5), Nigeria (19 to 14), Somalia (from 8 to 6) and Tanzania (from 7 to 3). The following African countries showed increases in 2002: Gabon (from 3 to 7), Senegal (from 1 to 3) and Yemen (from 1 to 5). The area of the Gulf of Aden has not changed from 2001 to 2002: 11 reports in both years. Last but not least the Asian region has not changed: the same number of incidents were reported in 2001 and 2002: 170. Within the region there have been some fluctuations. The most remarkable decreases are: South China Sea (from 4 to 0), Malaysia (from 19 to 14), Thailand (from 8 to 5), Myanmar (from 3 to 0) and Singapore (from 7 to 5). The most remarkable increase are: Indonesia (from 91 to 103), Philippines (from 8 to 10) and Vietnam (from 8 to 12).

The annual report of the IMB also breaks down the reported incidents into specific details:

Sources: