Saturday, April 25, 2009
There have been quite a few stories in the news lately about pirates. What is interesting is how these groups of pirates came to exist as they do today. Somalia has the longest coastline in African and very rich fishing grounds. The Somalian government collapsed in 1991 due to a civil war. Without a government in place to protect the fishing grounds, fishing fleets from far away countries started to come and fish as much as they pleased. The citizens of somalia are very dependent on the fishing not only as a major food source for themselves but as the income for many people. The fishermen who lacked the large boats and technologies of the foreign fishing fleets got bullied and pushed off of their fishing grounds. It was during this time that pirate gangs began to form to protect the fishing grounds and the coastline of Somalia. It was quite easy for pirate gangs to seize ships and hold people for ransom. Many companies did not want the media attention for violating maritime laws and were willing to pay quietly. Because of this their networks were able to grow. However, the pirates today are not fishermen protecting their resource. It has become what some people say is a criminal network of people trying to make fortunes through pirating.
photo of Somali pirate from http://pursuethepassion.com/journey/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/somali-pirate.jpg