What will keep ships – and people – safer in the Gulf of Guinea?
Brandon Prins, Aaron Gold, Anup Phayal, Simon Rotzer, Curie Maharani, Sayed Riyadi, and Kayla Marie Reno, 2022
A U.N. resolution last week condemned piracy in the Gulf of Guinea — the most dangerous piracy hot spot in the world. In 2020, over 40 percent of piracy incidents occurred in West African waters. And 95 percent of all kidnapped crew members were taken from ships transiting the Gulf of Guinea.
Can maritime security efforts help reverse these trends? While global maritime piracy generally decreased from 2015 to 2020, piracy incidents increased substantially in the Gulf of Guinea. Our research finds that piracy incidents in West African waters also tended to be more violent than elsewhere, as fighting on land, especially in and around the Niger Delta, appeared to spill out onto the water, as shown in the figure below.