Why fighting pirates is crucial

Pirates may seem like a remote threat, but they affect security in myriad ways. 

Why fighting pirates in African waters is crucial to our security

AUTHOR: Christian Bueger

When we sip our morning coffee or snack on a piece of chocolate, we hardly think about how these products came to us. The answer is: they were transported by sea. In fact, pretty much all the goods we consume reach us this way, with African waterways being the major shipping route between China and Europe.

Yet what happens out on the world’s lonely oceans remains a mystery to us. A recent study showed we all suffer from this kind of “seablindness”. Even the small percentage of people who are aware of the importance of shipping can’t imagine the dangers that hundreds of ships and crew face from piracy. Between 2008 and 2011 hundreds of ships were attacked off the Somali coast. Vessels were hijacked and seafarers held hostage, many for months and years.

Now, it seems, all is quiet. The pirates of Somalia haven’t successfully hijacked a ship for more than two years. In part, that’s because the shipping industry has learned to fight pirates, but also because navies now patrol the Western Indian Ocean.

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Source: theconversation.com

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