In 2020, the type of ship most attacked by pirates was a bulk carrier. That year, there were 51 attacks on bulk carriers recorded. Product tankers were targeted by pirates 43 times and container ships 27 times.
In 2020, Africa was the region that recorded the largest number of piracy attacks. In the same year, Nigeria was the main hotspot of piracy worldwide, followed by Southeast Asia. The most commonly used weapons are knives and guns.
Under current circumstances, piracy activity in Africa threatens not only international shipping companies but also the economic prospects of the continent. By damaging the credibility and stability of the affected countries, piracy imposes a great economic burden on the African economy. Trust is a necessary condition for international and local economic activities to prosper because investment decisions are made for an uncertain future. While the situation on the Gulf of Guinea keeps getting worse, the number of piracy and robbery incidents on the East African coasts dropped massively between 2017 and 2018. Pirate attacks do not only occur along the territorial waters of African countries, but also in international waters. For instance, in West African territories, roughly one in four attacks were carried out in international waters in 2019.