Sea Transportation: Somali Pirates Out of Control


November 17, 2005: Somalia, and the piracy off its coast, is becoming a security problem that cannot be ignored. Five ships have been attacked in the last two weeks. As many as three pirate gangs have been operating off the coast, and have attacked ships as far as 400 kilometers out to sea. So far this year, over 30 ships have been attacked. Unlike pirates in other parts of the world, who just rob the crew and escape with whatever they can carry, the Somali pirates capture ships and hold them for ransom. Currently, six ships are being held. Because several attacks, by speed boats full of gunmen, have taken place several hundred kilometers from shore, it is believed that at least one pirate gang has a larger ship, that speed boats are launched from. A larger ship, believed to be the pirate vessel, was spotted drifting off the coast three times over the Summer.

It’s also believed that the pirates have maritime radios, so that they can listen in to ships in the area, and plan attacks based on where these ships are expected to be. Kenya, whose economy depends on cargo vessels moving north, past Somalia, is calling for an international task force to patrol the Somali coast, and clear out the pirates. The U.S., Germany and France already have warships north of Somalia, guarding the Djibouti coast and the Gulf of Aden. So far, no nation has offered to go after the Somali pirates. Meanwhile, merchant shipping has been warned to stay at least 400 kilometers from the Somali coast. But foreign fishing ships are reluctant to give up working the waters off Somali. So the pirates still have a reason to prowl the coast.


Article Archive

Sea Transportation: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close