Modern Day Pirates

Topics: Piracy, Piracy in Somalia, Somalia Pages: 5 (1811 words) Published: November 8, 2010
Modern Day Pirates
By KaustiC
What is modern day piracy well According to the International Maritime Bureau the definition is “Piracy is the act of boarding any vessel with an intent to commit theft or any other crime, and with an intent or capacity to use force in furtherance of that act.”

Why is modern day piracy different than the piracy we see in movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean you ask? Robert Louis Stevenson's type of piracy or the commonly known piracy in the 16th & 17th centuries fell into decline for four primary reasons. The first being Technology, The increased size & speed of merchant vessels in the 18th & 19th centuries severely disadvantaged pursuing pirates. The second cause for its decline was the Increased Naval Presence. The 19th & 20th centuries saw an ever increasing level of international Naval patrols along most ocean highways & particularly in support of colonial networks to protect goods. The thirds being an Increased Government Administration, The 19th & 20th Centuries were marked by the regular administration of most islands and land areas by colonies or nations which took a direct interest in protecting their merchant fleets from piracy. lastly the fourth reason for piracy decline would be Uniform Regulation, There was a general recognition of piracy as a serious international offense which would not be tolerated by countries determined to protect their national fleets and made it possible for them to do so.

Following World War II however, these four self enforcing barriers to high seas piracy began to erode. Piracy slowly made a comeback due to the protection that was once afforded to merchant vessels by their modern size and speed is now offset by further technical advances which have reduced their crew size, as well as a vessel's ability to defend itself. On the other side of the coin, there has been a larger crop of technological advances which improve the pirate chief's weapons of speed, shock, surprise, fire power as well as rapid escape. Another issue on how piracy is able to up rise again is the trend for smaller world Navies. Dramatically decreased international ocean patrols have left merchant vessels virtually unprotected on the sea frontier. Another disturbing issue is the Disrupted Governmental Administration, Decisions by former colonies not to maintain ties with their home countries, and the financial inability of some governments to afford effective Naval assets; are factors which have simply encouraged pirate attacks. Another aspect that is bringing back piracy is the Lack of Regulation, In some quarters there has been erosion of the view that piracy is a serious international crime, or even a crime of which anyone should take notice. With most of the world's 64 million gross tonnage fleet under flags of convenience such as Panama, Honduras and Liberia, there is no political will to smash high seas piracy. Where are the attacks happening and is still safe to travel? National geographic new Reported these incidents for 2002 are as follows: Indonesia: 103

Gulf of Aden/red Sea: 11
Ecuador: 12
Guyana: 12
Vietnam: 12
Nigeria: 14
Malaysia: 14
Malacca Straits: 16
India: 18
Bangladesh: 32
Although Indonesia was hit the hardest, it is warned to stay away from The Malacca Straits as was as Malaysia. It is interesting that the number of incidents recorded is on the rise, says national geographic news. It’s stated that 106 cases of piracy were recorded in 1992. By 2002 there were 370 reported incidents and this is through yearly increases. The statistics go on to say that: the majority of ships have been boarded while at anchor, 10 crew members were killed by pirates in 2001 and 97 serious injuries were reported and there where twenty five hijackings (or attempted ones) in 2002. The professionalism and desperation of these elements is growing.

The most common type of attack is where pirates board the merchant vessel, rob the crew and...
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