The US Department of Transportation issued a new security advisory to commercial shipping in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) on Monday, January 20. The advisory states that US flagged vessels sailing in the Gulf of Guinea, ''should transit with extreme caution and vigilance,'' as piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping for ransom continue to serve as significant threat, especially off the coasts of Nigeria, Togo, and Equatorial Guinea.
The Gulf of Guinea has been a hotspot for piracy incidents over the past decade. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the Gulf of Guinea accounts for 90 percent of piracy incidents across the world in 2019. In 2019, 129 reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery and 33 kidnappings at sea occurred in the GoG region, almost half of the kidnappings occurred around the Niger Delta.
Pirates usually kidnap crew for ransom or steal the boat's merchandise.
Maritime travel through the Gulf of Guinea is advised against due to the threat of piracy.