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Piracy On The High Seas

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Somali pirates have been hijacking vessels since the mid 1990's. With the civil war taking place at the time there was not many ways to make a dollar. Piracy in the area started to take shape because the fishing in the area had almost died off. It wasn't because of the civil war but because of foreign vessels dumping toxic waste in the Somali waters. The fisherman could not make any money. So gangs formed at first to try and stop the dumping. They would come out in their skiffs and small boats and take on the large tankers. They wouldn't be armed at first but that changed when they were being fired on. The Somali pirates would later turn to hijacking the vessels. In 2009, some 117 vessels would be hijacked and ransomed. This would drop by half in 2010 to around 53 vessels. The toll on the tankers and their companies grew to around 6.8 billion a year. The pirates were winning and would take almost 4plus million per vessel in ransom.

Nations became worried and started to bring in naval vessels from around the world to patrol the seas. The pirates would still continue to attack and hijack the foreign vessels. Countries started to look at the problem and began to take care of areas onshore and help them to rebuild. In September 2012, piracy dropped to about one ship per quarter being hijacked. You think we are on the right track now with Somalia.

Now recently a movie was released called Captain Phillips. It's a story of pirates taking over a ship and wanting to ransom the captain. Well they didn't succeed and we now have an entertaining movie to watch. The point I'm trying to make is yes there was a need to take matters into their own hands to stop the dumping of waste but it was foreigners who started the problem not the Somali's. Ships were invading their waters during a time when the Somali people were at a low during the civil war. When they were able to fish in their own seas they couldn't cause of the foreign dumping. It was piracy or death. They had nothing to live on. So go out and enjoy a good movie but in the end who is the true pirate.


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