It’s not a permanent solution to piracy, but at least it works here.
For years on end, pirates from Somalia have been wreaking havoc on shipping vessels that journey way too close to the horn of Africa. Unfortunately for these pirates, however, the area over the years has developed to be one of the most important and essential trading routes and it gets a lot of heavy traffic year after year as well. When the pirates were at their prime (which was the period between 2008 and 2011), the damage that they caused cost the shipping industry billions of dollars.
Back in 2012, the MV Smyrni was held in a pirate anchorage off the coast of Somalia for about 10 months before it was released upon the payment of a ransom, although the exact details of that deal still remaining unknown till this day. The shipping vessel had a crew of 26 members and it was carrying about 135,000 tons of pure crude oil.
Although the trend of piracy has subsided a little bit ever since then, it would seem that the seafaring buccaneers have come back and with quite a lot of punch this time. In the last one month alone, there have been no less than 5 cases of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, which is located just off the coast of Somalia.
A new video, which is currently making its rounds all over the Internet, shown a brief period of some intense, face-to-face combat between the Somali pirates and a crew of private security forces. In the video, the security guards and be clearly seen firing warning shots off to the front of the skiffs. Just as well, from the amount of chatter and banter going on, it would seem like there are guards on both sides of the ship.
An investigation into the resurgence of maritime piracy, especially around the horn of Africa, was recently conducted by The Economist and according to the report, this trend has led to some increasing shipping premiums and insurance costs. Considering the hike in these premiums, most private shipping companies have moved to hire private guards to provide a layer of protection to their investments.
It is pretty easy for criminal organizations to target young men from Somalia. These organizations provide funding for piracy by simply promising big payouts for short periods of “work”. Also, the local fishing that usually occurred off their shores is a major issue, due to the fact that the local population of fish seems to have eroded completely.
Piracy has definitely always been a major source that has caused billions in losses. A few solutions have definitely been explored by shipping companies (including but not limited to hiring security officials and personnel in order to protect their cargo), but must sources can only point to one thing’
If we truly want piracy to end, then something needs to be done to the pirates themselves.
These pirates are only forced to do what they do because there is no form of gainful employment in their country to engage them. Most pirates are actually fishermen, but the population of fishes off the Somali coast has been steadily on the decline (as stated earlier). To wit, piracy seems to be the only mean trough which they can earn livable incomes and provide for themselves and their families.