Control Risks has recorded 17 incidents of piracy and armed robbery attempts off the Horn of Africa by Somali pirate groups in 2017. This increase demonstrates the renewed intent of Somali pirates to target ships operating in the region.
Between April and May there were five attempted hijacks of vessels, which included two cargo bulk carriers, a chemical tanker, and a combined chemical and oil tanker. There were also at least eight approaches reported by merchant vessels. This spike in incidents serves as a reminder to vessel operators, who may have drifted from disciplined adherence to the BMP4: Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia Based Piracy, to resume or reinforce these practices.
Another flurry of incidents could accompany the improvement of sea conditions towards the end of the year and beginning of 2018. Pirate groups may also move north to the Gulf of Oman, where at least one Somali group is suspected to have operated this year, seeking calmer waters.