According to UNOSAT, between 1995 and 2013 there were a total of 6,249 reported instances of piracy or maritime armed robberies globally. The vast majority of these incidents occurred in the Western Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, West Africa and Latin America. In West Africa pirates are called ''petro-pirates'' because in most cases they are more interested in stealing vessels' precious oil cargo rather than kidnapping the crew. This scenario may seem bloodless but unfortunately Nigerians are the world's most violent robbers. In the Gulf of Aden Somali pirates are notorious for highjacking vessels and taking crew as hostages for months. In South America and more specifically in Venezuela, piracy incidents can be described more like ''robberies'' at sea. Most of their targets are U.S citizens with sailing yachts which are usually beaten up by robbers in order to yield all their personal belongings.

In 2013 West and Central African countries convened a summit to consider a comprehensive response to tackle piracy and robberies. Amongst other results, the UN increased their presence, the biggest pirate prison ever built opened in the Horn of Africa and vessels calling or transiting African waters improved their anti piracy measures. Nevertheless, West African robbers became more efficient as nowadays they require less time to complete their unlawful acts whilst operating in greater distances from the African continent. In the Gulf of Aden the combined efforts of international coalition navies in the region, the stabilizing factor of the central government in Somalia and the use of armed and unarmed guards have resulted to no new incident reports from 1st January 2016 to 31st March 2016. For the time being, piracy operations have spread to South Cameroon, Benin, Equatorial Guinea and Angola's Cabinda region. In Latin America and particularly in Venezuela and Brasil there is currently a significant economic and political distress which could lead to an increase in robbery attacks.