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Piracy in SomaliaAssignment 3Cynthia Morgan
2PIRACY IN SOMALIAWhen hearing the world pirate, one usually thinks of this romanticized idea of a man with an eye patch and a sword that has control over a crew and sails around in a large wooden ship with a huge pirate flag waving in the wind. However, in modern times that is not the real identity of pirates. Off of the Somalia coast and in the Gulf of Aden, in the past years there has been a huge issue with piracy. The reasons being the lack of a functioning government in Somalia, the lack of resources, and the desire of wealth by men who live in non-prosperous communities. Being involved with piracy in Somalia canbe very rewarding, with one of the busiest trade routes in the world going through the Gulf of Aden the supply of ships to attack is never ending. This is affecting not just Somalia but the global economy and the stability of many nations.The pirate attacks in Somalia began to increase dramatically in 2007 and 2008, the reasons being a rise in the number of ransom payments owed that had grown to be in the millions of dollars and unfortunately a limited number of job opportunities available, because of this many men from Somalia started becoming involved with piracy at sea. Because this rise in numbers of men that started getting involved in raiding ships, piracy, which was originally a “disorganized endeavor”, became developed into being a “highly transnational criminal enterprise.” This allowed for more money to be made by the pirates and in return allowed for pirates to improve their capabilities and further their raiding deeper off of the shore. It is believed that the Somali pirates are able to “operate in a total sea space of approximately 2.5 million square nautical miles” (Andrew J. Shapiro). This is only possible because of their new adopted tactic of using mother ships to further their distance from shore. These mother ships are actually fishing trawlers that pirates have captured from victims. On these ships pirates hold their hostages and also
PIRACY IN SOMALIA3skiffs to aid in the raiding of other ships on the Gulf of Aden. “Pirates operate using smallskiffs with powerful outboard engines that can be pulled up onto the beach. These boats are fast and maneuverable but they lack the range necessary for richer pickings. Pirates now regularly use “mother ships” to increase their range.” An example of the use of a mother ship is a report from a Yemeni fishing vessel, the way pirates used this ship was by patrolling the entrance of the Gulf of Aden, but once they spotted a target they all boarded their ships and left the fishing boat.1This is just one way that they use the motherships to advance their range in being able to target ships with products and raid them.