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The Pirates of Somali these days

Somali pirates have been making headline news lately, and they've even begun to affect the tourism industry along Kenya's coast with a couple of frightening cases of kidnapping from beach resorts. Find out who these modern day pirates are, where and how they operate, and why they've turned from fishing to piracy. The Current Status of Somali Piracy According to a recent BBC report, Somali pirates seized a record 1,181 hostages in 2010, and were paid many millions of dollars in ransom. In the Fall of 2011, more than 300 hundred people were being held hostage by various pirate groups based in Somalia. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) considers the Somali coast to be the most dangerous stretch of water in the world. At any given time pirates are holding at least a dozen ships hostage including the occasional oil supertanker for which they can demand up to $25 million in ransom. A typical piracy attempt reads like this: 11.04.2009: 1240 UTC: Posn: 00:18.2N - 051:44.3E, About 285 nm east of Mogadishu, Somalia. Eight pirates armed with guns and RPG in two skiffs, launched by a pirate mother vessel, attacked acontainer ship underway. Master increased speed to 22.8 knots and the skiffs followed at 23.5 knots. They approach very close and fired upon the ship. Master made evasive manoeuvers and prevented the boarding. These live piracy reports come in several times a day. Where do Somali Pirates Operate? Somalia has a huge coastline (see map), wrapped around the Horn of Africa. In 2008 many pirate attacks were launched in the narrow channel known as the The Gulf of Aden. In response to these attacks and the economic effect they were having on this popular shipping channel, a fleet of international warships are now on daily patrol. Pirates are now known to be using "mother ships" so they can launch attacks further out at sea. Have a look at thisinternational piracy map for a graphic overview of all the latest piracy attempts.

" Sea Bandits or Coastguards? In a recent report. There's no use hijacking a huge ship if you don't know how the radio works and therefore can't demand your ransom. As the pirates want ransom payments. A BBC report filed in September 2008 talks about life in a Somali pirate town: "Eyl has become a town tailor-made for pirates . nor can they register complaints from ships that are attacked.and their hostages. In 2008. and computer geeks. Somali pirates don't see themselves as the bad guys. A BBC report in January 2012 claims that pirates have boosted the Somali economy significantly. lend money to businessmen.000 to $2 million. They use small. Why Doesn't Somalia's Government Act? Somalia doesn't take action against these pirates. Quite the incentive for poor fishermen living in a war torn African country. Think of us like a coast guard. They often attack at night. We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. 49 ships were hijacked off the coast of Somalia (out of a total of 53 worldwide). and are basically running the economy of the autonomous region of Puntland. Special restaurants have even been set up to prepare food for the crews of the hijacked ships. since it has a barely functioning government. BBC Somalia analyst Mohamed Mohamed says pirates are a combination of ex-fisherman. they try to look after their hostages. Somali pirates have accountants. 40 ships were successfully captured and ransoms were paid ranging from $500. Pirates also have to know how to use GPS. ex-militia. build big houses. check out this video by rap artist K'Naan for a very articulate Somali opinion about piracy."Somalia's central government imploded in 1991. there wasno government at all. let alone a region like Puntland. Once they find a good target. they launch hooks and rope ladders up to board the ship and overwhelm the crew. but not all of it has trickled down to the coastal communities. Somalia's tuna-rich waters were soon plundered by commercial fishing fleets from around the world. Just feeding and housing the hijacked crews helps sustain the economy in Puntland. fast speedboats to get around and work in crews of 10 or so. . casting the country into chaos. they marry beautiful women. drive big cars. We are simply patrolling our seas. Also. A pirate interviewed by the New York Times said: "We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. and buy increasingly sophisticated weapons. With no patrols along the shoreline. Successful pirates live well. and instead of swords they have RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades). A few years ago." The article continues -. they're not even in complete control of the capital Mogadishu. In 2010. Somali fishermen armed themselves and turned into vigilantes by confronting illegal fishing boats and demanding that they pay a tax". The current Somali government would like to help but in reality.Who are These Pirates? Somali pirates don't wear eye patches.

See the whole story. And there are still lots of pesky international laws that don't allow any navy ships to just come in and shoot at a non-military vessel. it turned out to belong to the Thais and several crew members were injured in the attack. By 2012. according to the Ecoterra International group which monitors piracy in the region.Somali pirates tried to board a Spanish navy ship off the Horn of Africa nation but it repulsed the attack and arrested six pirates. It seemed to work in 2009. . There's also the issue of the crew and keeping them safe. international forces have been patrolling the area. But. so logistically it's difficult to ensure a safe passage for every ship in these waters. it's up to the captains to try and out maneuver these pirates in speedboats. with hijackings down to around 41 for the first 4 months of the year. and even fire back. It's difficult to shoot at the pirates without harming the captured crew.Any Hope of Stopping The Pirates? In response to an upsurge of attacks in the Gulf of Aden in late 2008. international naval patrols in the Gulf of Aden were making it difficult for Somali pirates to launch attacks. For ships further out at sea. hose them down with fire houses. The area where most of pirates operate is about four times the size of Texas. at least 40 vessels and more than 400 hostages are still being held in or just off Somalia.181 hostages were seized by pirates with millions of dollars paid in ransom as a result. The Indian army shot at what they thought was a pirate vessel in November 2008. Insurance premiums on ships in this area are running at an all-time high. An "everyday" report from January 2012 reads like this: MOGADISHU Jan 12 (Reuters) . Since 2011 some pirates have been captured and six stood trial in Paris in November 2011. And more pirate attacks are being repelled simply because they are so common now. However in 2010 a reported 1. the European Union Naval Force for Somalia said on Thursday.