Pirates Adapt To Failure
Somali piracy suffers while West African and Southeast Asian piracy rises.
Sea Transportation: The Pirates Adapt To Failure And New Opportunities
Financial problems have led the Somali pirate groups to have largely disbanded. The problem is that no large ships taken (and ransomed) since May 2012. The pirates captured 14 ships in 2012 . In 2011 28 were taken and before that in 2010 47 and in 2009 there were 46. Each of these ships yielded, on average, several million dollars in ransom. That kind of money attracted a lot more people to the business. Lack of that kind of money led the major pirate gangs to disband. Despite that shipping companies have been warned to maintain the expensive security measures they have been using until the “pirate coast” of Somalia is cleared of warlords, Islamic terrorists and criminal gangs. At that point the shipping companies can eliminate the expensive security measures and people living in East Africa and dependent on goods imported via ship will see prices go down to pre-2006 levels. The cost of the additional anti-piracy measures was passed on to consumers and it is noticed.
Meanwhile piracy has shifted to Southeast Asia and the coast of Nigeria, where 13 small tankers and cargo ships were taken during the first half of 2015. During that period pirates attacked 134 ships compared to 116 for the first half of 2014. Most of these attacks are robbery and assault on crews as well as kidnapping of a few officers. In the first half of 2015 pirates temporarily held (and robbed) 250 merchant sailors, assaulted 14, (injured nine and killed one) and kidnapped ten for ransom.
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