Global piracy has shifted away from hijacking and towards kidnapping, according to new analysis released today by IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions. "Piracy has changed in the past three years," said Devlin McStay, data analyst at IHS Maritime and Trade. "The number of piracy attacks is decreasing overall, but kidnapping is becoming more common. We are seeing the number of kidnappings rise in the piracy hotspots of Southeast Asia and West Africa." IHS Maritime & Trade tracked nine kidnappings in 2014. That number rose to 19 in 2015 and so far stands at 44 from January to 30 September 2016. In 2015, a total of 19 crew members were kidnapped. Between January and September 2016, 44 crew members were kidnapped. Within the same time-frame 37 percent of crew involved in a piracy situation have been kidnapped. In the Gulf of Guinea, kidnapping accounted for 20 percent of all piracy indents in 2012, hijacking 24 percent and robbery 56 percent. Between January and September 2016, 60 percent of all piracy incidents were kidnaps and 40 percent robberies. "Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is focused on kidnap for ransom and is concentrated on high-value Western targets," said Martin Roberts, senior analyst at IHS Country Risk. "The need for alternative funding and ongoing militancy in the Niger Delta region will continue to drive these risks into 2017. Onshore dynamics are affecting offshore risks." Attack trends The areas most affected by piracy include Southeast Asia, near the Malacca Straits, the Gulf of Aden, and the Gulf of Guinea. In 2014, there were 245 piracy attacks across 26 countries, 20 fewer than 2013. The number of incidents in 2015 were similar. So far, 2016 has had fewer than 100 attacks, making it the quietest year in six years.