Despite the ongoing situation off the Korean Peninsula, our news feed was piracy-related again this week, as the G7++ group met to discuss the ongoing maritime security issues in the Gulf of Guinea and Nigeria's Navy voiced its own concerns. It should come as no surprise to learn that this week has seen another spate of attacks off and in the Niger Delta, with at least 10 crew taken hostage and one local boat operator reportedly killed by pirates.
Despite this, Nigeria still has no real piracy legislation.
In Southeast Asia, Malaysia's Transport Minister has praised local efforts to reduce piracy in the Malacca Strait. Sadly, the Singapore Strait remains perilous for mariners, as do the waters of the Sulu and Celebes Seas. This week, the Philippine military found the remains of Pham Minh Tuan, the captain of the M/V Royal 16, who was kidnapped in November 2016. Another man brutally murdered by the Abu Sayyaf Group.
In the Indian Ocean region, EUNAVFOR has marked its ninth anniversary of anti-piracy work. Despite having a far busier year with numerous piracy incidents as well as the conflict spillover from Yemen, the EU naval force has done a great job protecting seafarers once again.
Finally, we end in the Mediterranean, where Libya and Italy are setting up a 'joint operations room' intended to tackle people smuggling.