Somalia: September 1, 2005


Somali pirates are holding three Taiwanese fishing boats, and 48 crewman, for ransom in the southern port of  Kismayo. The pirates are demanding $500,000 for each boat. The boats were seized on August 15th, but word of the incident took over two weeks to become public. Since there is no government to issue licenses for foreign fishing boats, most of the fishing off the Somali coast is illegal. Foreign fishing boats are believed to haul in about $300 million worth of fish a year off the coast. The pirates have been increasingly bold in going after the fishing boats. In the last six months, there have been at least fifteen incidents of piracy (ships seized, or serious attempts made.)


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