Piracy off the coast of Somalia
This article needs to be updated.(August 2020)
Piracy off the coast of Somalia occurs in the Gulf of Aden, Guardafui Channel and Somali Sea, in Somali territorial waters and other surrounding areas. It was initially a threat to international fishing vessels, expanding to international shipping since the consolidation of states phase of the Somali Civil War around 2000.
After the collapse of the Somali government and the dispersal of the Somali Navy, international fishing vessels began to conduct illegal fishing in Somali territorial waters. This depleted local fish stocks, and Somali fishing communities responded by forming armed groups to deter the invaders. These groups, using small boats, would sometimes hold vessels and crew for ransom. This grew into a lucrative trade, with large ransom payments. The pirates then began hijacking commercial vessels. With the region badly affected by poverty and government corruption, there was little political motivation at the local level to deal with the crisis. Large numbers of unemployed Somali youth began to see it as a means of supporting their families.
International organizations began to express concern over the new wave of piracy due to its high cost to global trade and the incentive to profiteer by insurance companies and others. Some believe that elements within Somalia collaborate with the pirates as a bulwark against others and for financial gain. In the late 2000s, anti-piracy coalition known as Combined Task Force 150, including 33 nations, established a Maritime Security Patrol Area in the Gulf of Aden. By 2010, these patrols were paying off, with a steady drop in the number of incidents. By November 2017, there were no major vessels or hostages remaining in pirate captivity. Earlier in 2017, a few incidents of piracy were reported as the navies of Asian and European nations began to more actively rescue hijacked ships, including the bulk carrier OS35.
In the early 1980s, prior to the outbreak of the civil war in Somalia, the Somali Ministry of Fisheries and the Coastal Development Agency (CDA) launched a development program focusing on the establishment of agricultural and fishery cooperatives for artisanal fishermen. It also received significant foreign investment funds for various fishery development projects, as the Somali fishing industry was considered to have a lot of potential owing to its unexploited marine stocks. The government at this time permitted foreign fishing through official licensing or joint venture agreements, forming two such partnerships in the Iraqi-Somali Siadco and Italian-Somali Somital ventures.
After the collapse of the central government in the ensuing civil war, the Somali Navy disbanded. With Somali territorial waters undefended, foreign fishing trawlers began illegally fishing on the Somali seaboard and ships began dumping industrial and other waste off the Somali coast. This led to erosion of the fish stock and local fishermen started to band together to try to protect their resources. An escalation began, leading to weapons being used and tactics such as taking over a foreign ship until their owners paid a ransom. After seeing the profitability of ransom payments, some financiers and former militiamen later began to fund pirate activities, splitting the profits evenly with the pirates. In most of the hijackings, the pirates have not harmed their prisoners.
Combined Task Force 150, a multinational coalition task force, subsequently took on the role of fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia by establishing a Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) within the Gulf of Aden. However, many foreign naval vessels chasing pirates were forced to break off when the pirates entered Somali territorial waters. To address this, in June 2008, following a letter from the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to the President of the UN Security Council requesting assistance for the TFG's efforts to tackle acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a declaration authorizing nations that have the consent of the Transitional Federal Government to enter Somali territorial waters to deal with pirates. On the advice of lawyers, the Royal Navy and other international naval forces have often released suspected pirates that they have captured because, although the men are frequently armed, they have not been caught engaging in acts of piracy and have thus not technically committed a crime.
Due to improved anti-piracy measures the success of piracy acts on sea decreased dramatically by the end of 2011, with only 4 vessels hijacked in the last quarter versus 17 in the last quarter of the preceding year. In response, pirates resorted to increased hostage taking on land. The government of the autonomous Puntland region has also made progress in combating piracy, evident in interventions by its maritime police force (PMPF).
In part to further curtail piracy activity, the London Somalia Conference was convened in February 2012.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean had by October 2012 dropped to a six-year low. Attempted hijackings fell from 237 in 2011 to 75 the following year, with successful attacks plummeting from 28 in 2011 to 14 in 2012. Additionally, only 1 ship was attacked in the third quarter of 2012 compared to 36 during the same period in 2011.
Summary of events
Somali pirates have attacked hundreds of vessels in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean region, though most attacks do not result in a successful hijacking. In 2008, there were 111 attacks which included 42 successful hijackings. However, this is only a fraction of the up to 30,000 merchant vessels which pass through that area. The rate of attacks in January and February 2009 was about 10 times higher than during the same period in 2008 and "there have been almost daily attacks in March", with 79 attacks, 21 successful, by mid-April. Most of these attacks occurred in the Gulf of Aden but subsequently the pirates increased their range and started attacking ships as far south as off the coast of Kenya in the Indian Ocean. Below are some notable pirate events which have garnered significant media coverage since 2007.
On 28 May 2007, a Chinese sailor was killed by the pirates because the ship's owners failed to meet their ransom demand. On 5 October 2008, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1838 calling on nations with vessels in the area to apply military force to repress the acts of piracy. At the 101st council of the International Maritime Organization, India called for a United Nations peacekeeping force under unified command to tackle piracy off Somalia. (There has been a general and complete arms embargo against Somalia since 1992.)
In November 2008, Somali pirates began hijacking ships well outside the Gulf of Aden, perhaps targeting ships headed for the port of Mombasa, Kenya. The frequency and sophistication of the attacks also increased around this time, as did the size of vessels being targeted. Large cargo ships, oil and chemical tankers on international voyages became the new targets of choice for the Somali hijackers. This is in stark contrast to the pirate attacks which were once frequent in the Strait of Malacca, another strategically important waterway for international trade, which were according to maritime security expert Catherine Zara Raymond, generally directed against "smaller, more vulnerable vessels carrying trade across the Straits or employed in the coastal trade on either side of the Straits."
On 19 November 2008, the Indian Navy warship INS Tabar sank a suspected pirate mothership. Later, it was claimed to be a Thai trawler being hijacked by pirates. The Indian Navy later defended its actions by stating that its ship was fired upon first. On 21 November 2008, BBC News reported that the Indian Navy had received United Nations approval to enter Somali waters to combat piracy.
On 8 April 2009, four Somali pirates seized MV Maersk Alabama 240 nautical miles (440 km; 280 mi) southeast of the Somalia port city of Eyl. The ship was carrying 17,000 tonnes of cargo, of which 5,000 tonnes were relief supplies bound for Somalia, Uganda, and Kenya. On 12 April 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL snipers killed the three pirates who were holding Captain Richard Phillips hostage aboard a lifeboat from Maersk Alabama after determining that Captain Phillips' life was in immediate danger. A fourth pirate, Abdul Wali Muse, surrendered and was taken into custody. On 18 May, a federal grand jury in New York returned a ten-count indictment against him.
On 20 April 2009, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented on the capture and release of seven Somali pirates by Dutch Naval forces who were on a NATO mission. After an attack on Handytankers Magic, a petroleum tanker, the Dutch frigate De Zeven Provinciën tracked the pirates back to a pirate mothership and captured them. They confiscated the pirates' weapons and freed 20 Yemeni fishermen whom the pirates had kidnapped and who had been forced to sail the pirate mothership. Since the Dutch Naval Forces were part of a NATO exercise, but not on an EU mission, they lacked legal jurisdiction to keep the pirates so they released them. Clinton stated that this action "sends the wrong signal" and that additional coordination was needed among nations.
On 23 April 2009, international donors pledged over $250 million for Somalia, including $134 million to increase the African Union peacekeeping mission from 4,350 troops to 8,000 troops and $34 million for Somali security forces. Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon told delegates at a donors' conference sponsored by the UN that "piracy is a symptom of anarchy and insecurity on the ground" and that "more security on the ground will make less piracy on the seas." Somali President Sharif Ahmed pledged at the conference that he would fight piracy and to loud applause said that "it is our duty to pursue these criminals not only on the high seas, but also on terra firma". The Somali government has not gone after pirates because pirate leaders currently have more power than the government. In 2008 the pirates are estimated to have gained about $80 million through ransom payments.
On 8 November 2009, Somali pirates threatened that a kidnapped British couple, the Chandlers, would be "punished" if a German warship did not release seven pirates. Omer, one of the pirates holding the British couple, claimed the seven men were fishermen, but a European Union Naval Force spokesman stated they were captured as they fired AK-47 assault rifles at a French fishing vessel. The Chandlers were released on 14 November 2010 after 388 days of captivity. At least two ransom payments, reportedly over GBP 500,000, had been made.
In April 2010, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) alluded to possible covert and overt action against the pirates. CIA officials had been publicly warning of this potential threat for months. In a Harper's Magazine article, a CIA official said, "We need to deal with this problem from the beach side, in concert with the ocean side, but we don't have an embassy in Somalia and limited, ineffective intelligence operations. We need to work in Somalia and in Lebanon, where a lot of the ransom money has changed hands. But our operations in Lebanon are a joke, and we have no presence at all in Somalia".
In early May 2010, Russian special forces retook a Russian oil tanker that had been hijacked by 11 pirates. One died in the assault, and a week later Russian military officials reported that the remainder were freed due to weaknesses in international law but died before reaching the Somali coast. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had announced the day the ship was retaken that "we'll have to do what our forefathers did when they met the pirates" until a suitable way of prosecuting them is available.
On 11 May 2010 Somali pirates seized a Bulgarian-flagged ship in the Gulf of Aden. Panega, with 15 Bulgarian crew members aboard, was en route from the Red Sea to India or Pakistan. This was the first such hijacking of a Bulgarian-flagged ship. On 12 May 2010, Athens announced that Somali pirates had seized a Greek vessel in the Gulf of Aden with at least 24 people on board, including two Greek citizens and several Philippine citizens. The vessel, sailing under the Liberian flag, was transporting iron from Ukraine to China.
On 14 January 2011, while speaking to reporters, Commodore Michiel Hijmans of the Royal Netherlands Navy stated that the use of hijacked vessels in more recent hijackings had led to increased range of pirating activities, as well as difficulty to actively thwart future events due to the use of kidnapped sailors as human shields.
On 15 January 2011 13 Somali pirates seized Samho Jewelry, a Maltese-flagged chemical carrier operated by Samho Shipping, 650 km southeast of Muscat. The Republic of Korea Navy destroyer Choi Young shadowed Samho Jewelry for several days. In the early morning of 21 January 2011, 25 ROK Navy SEALs on small boats launched from Choi Young boarded Samho Jewelry while Choi Young's Westland Super Lynx provided covering fire. Eight pirates were killed and five captured in the operation; the crew of 21 was freed with the captain suffering a gunshot wound to the stomach. The captain fully recovered later.
On 28 January 2011, an Indian Coast Guard aircraft while responding to a distress call from CMA CGM Verdi, located two skiffs attempting a piracy attack near Lakshadweep. Seeing the aircraft, the skiffs immediately aborted their piracy attempt and dashed towards the mother vessel, MV Prantalay 14 – a hijacked Thai trawler, which hurriedly hoisted the two skiffs on board and moved westward. The Indian Navy deployed INS Cankarso which located and engaged the mothership 100 nautical miles (190 km) north of the Minicoy island. Ten pirates were killed while 15 were apprehended and 20 Thai and Burmese fishermen being held aboard the ship as hostages were rescued.
Within a week of its previous success, the Indian Navy captured another hijacked Thai trawler, MV Prantalay 11 and captured 28 pirates aboard in an operation undertaken by INS Tir pursuant to receiving information that a Greek merchant ship had been attacked by pirates on board high-speed boats, although it had managed to avoid capture. When INS Tir ordered the pirate ship to stop and be boarded for inspection, it was fired upon. INS Tir returned fire in which three pirates were injured and caused the pirates to raise a white flag indicating their surrender. INS Tir subsequently was joined by CGS Samar of the Indian Coast Guard. Officials from the Indian Navy reported that a total of 52 men were apprehended, but of that 24 are believed to be Thai fishermen who were hostages of the 28 African pirates.
In late February 2011, piracy targeting smaller yachts and collecting ransom made headlines when four Americans were killed aboard their vessel, Quest, by their captors, while a military ship shadowed them. A federal court in Norfolk, Virginia, sentenced three members of the gang that seized the yacht to life imprisonment. On 24 February 2011 a Danish family on a yacht were captured by pirates.
In March 2011, the Indian Navy intercepted a pirate mother vessel 600 nautical miles (1,100 km) west of the Indian coast in the Arabian Sea and rescued 13 hostages. Sixty-one pirates were also caught in the operation carried out by Navy's INS Kalpeni.
In late March 2011, the Indian Navy seized 16 suspected pirates after a three-hour-long battle in the Arabian Sea, The navy also rescued 16 crew members of a hijacked Iranian ship west of the Lakshadweep Islands. The crew included 12 Iranians and four Pakistanis.
On 5 January 2012, an MH-60S Seahawk from the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd, part of the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, detected a suspected pirate skiff alongside the Iranian-flagged fishing boat, Al Molai. The master of Al Molai sent a distress call about the same time reporting pirates were holding him captive.
A visit, board, search and seizure team from Kidd boarded the dhow, a traditional Arabian sailing vessel, and detained 15 suspected pirates who had been holding a 13-member Iranian crew hostage for several weeks. Al Molai had been hijacked and used as a mothership for pirate operations throughout the Persian Gulf, members of the Iranian vessel's crew reported.
With the increase in illegal fishing off Somalia after the 2013 decline in piracy, fishing vessels became targets in a few incidents in 2015. In March two Iranian vessels and in November one Iranian and a Thai vessel were attacked.
The tanker Aris 13, which had been carrying fuel from Djibouti to Mogadishu, was hijacked off the coast of Somalia on 13 March 2017. This was the first reported hijacking of a large commercial vessel in five years. Two skiffs approached the tanker and boarded the vessel off the northern coast of Somalia. Eight Sri Lankan crew members were aboard at the time. After being captured, Aris 13 was taken to Alula and anchored there before its release without ransom was confirmed by security officials on 16 March 2017.
Most of the pirates are young. An official list issued in 2010 by the Somali government of 40 apprehended pirate suspects noted that 80% (32/40) were born in Somalia's southern conflict zones, while only 20% (8/40) came from the more stable northern regions. As of 2012, the pirates primarily operated from the Galmudug region in the central section of the country. In previous years, they largely ventured to sea from ports located in the northeastern province of Puntland until the regional administration launched a major anti-piracy campaign and operation and established a maritime police force (PMPF).
According to a 2008 BBC report, the pirates can be divided into three main categories:
- Local fishermen, considered the brains of the pirates' operations due to their skill and knowledge of the sea.
- Ex-militiamen, who previously fought for the local clan warlords, or ex-military from the former Barre government used as the muscle.
- Technical experts, who operate equipment such as GPS devices.
The closest Somali term for 'pirate' is burcad badeed, which means "ocean robber". However, the pirates themselves prefer to be called badaadinta badah or "saviours of the sea" (often translated as "coast guard").
The methods used in a typical pirate attack have been analyzed. They show that while attacks can be expected at any time, most occur during the day; often in the early hours.[clarification needed] They may involve two or more skiffs that can reach speeds of up to 25 knots. With the help of motherships that include captured fishing and merchant vessels, the operating range of the skiffs has been increased far into the Indian Ocean. An attacked vessel is approached from quarter or stern; RPGs and small arms are used to intimidate the operator to slow down and allow boarding. Light ladders are brought along to climb aboard. Pirates then will try to get control of the bridge to take operational control of the vessel.
Weaponry and funding
The pirates get most of their weapons from Yemen, but a significant number come from Mogadishu, Somalia's capital. Weapons dealers in the capital receive a deposit from a hawala dealer on behalf of the pirates and the weapons are then driven to Puntland where the pirates pay the balance. Various photographs of pirates in situ indicate that their weapons are predominantly AK-47, AKM, Type 56, RPK, PKM, RPG-7, and Tokarev pistols. Additionally, given the particular origin of their weaponry, they are likely to have hand grenades such as the RGD-5 or F1.
The funding of piracy operations is now structured in a stock exchange, with investors buying and selling shares in upcoming attacks in a bourse in Harardhere. Pirates say ransom money is paid in large-denomination US dollar bills. It is delivered to them in burlap sacks which are either dropped from helicopters or cased in waterproof suitcases loaded onto tiny skiffs. To authenticate the banknotes, pirates use currency-counting machines, the same technology used at foreign exchange bureaus worldwide. According to one pirate, these machines are, in turn, purchased from business connections in Dubai, Djibouti, and other areas. Hostages seized by the pirates usually have to wait 45 days or more for the ships' owners to pay the ransom and secure their release.
In 2008, there were also allegations that the pirates received assistance from some members of the Somali diaspora. Somali expatriates, including some members of the Somali community in Canada, reputedly offered funds, equipment and information.
According to the head of the UN's counter-piracy division, Colonel John Steed, the Al-Shabaab group in 2011 increasingly sought to cooperate with the pirate gangs in the face of dwindling funds and resources for their own activities. Steed, however, acknowledged that he had no definite proof of operational ties between the pirates and the Islamist militants. Detained pirates also indicated to UNODC officials that some measure of cooperation with Al-Shabaab militants was necessary, as they have increasingly launched maritime raids from areas in southern Somalia controlled by the insurgent outfit. Al-Shabaab members have also extorted the pirates, demanding protection money from them and forcing seized pirate gang leaders in Harardhere to hand over 20% of future ransom proceeds. It has been suggested that al-Qaeda have received funding from pirate operations. A maritime intelligence source told CBS News that it was "'inconceivable' to Western intelligence agencies that al Qaeda would not be getting some financial reward from the successful hijackings". They go on to express concern about this funding link being able to keep the group satisfied as piracy gains more publicity and higher ransoms.
Effects and perceptions
Both positive and negative effects of piracy have been reported. In 2005, a liquefied petroleum tanker, MS Feisty Gas, was hijacked and ransomed for $315,000 after being held for about two weeks. In 2009, pirate income derived from ransoms was estimated at around 42.1 million euros (about $58 million), rising to $238 million in 2010. The average ransom had risen to $5.4 million in 2010, up from around $150,000 in 2005. However, by 2011, pirate ransom income dropped to $160 million, a downward trend which has been attributed to intensified counter-piracy efforts.
Besides the actual cost of paying ransoms, various attempts have been made at gauging indirect costs stemming from the piracy; especially those reportedly incurred over the course of anti-piracy initiatives.
During the height of the piracy phenomenon in 2008, local residents complained that the presence of so many armed men made them feel insecure and that their free spending ways caused wild fluctuations in the local exchange rate. Others faulted them for excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and khat.
A 2010 report suggested that piracy off the coast of Somalia led to a decrease of revenue for Egypt as fewer ships use the Suez Canal (estimated loss of about $642 million), impeded trade with neighboring countries, and negatively impacted tourism and fishing in the Seychelles. According to Sky News, around 50% of the world's containers passed through the Horn of Africa coastline as of 2012. The European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) has a yearly budget of over 8 million Euros earmarked for patrolling the 8.3 million square kilometres (3,200,000 square miles).
A 2011 report by Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) suggested that the indirect costs of piracy were much higher and estimated to be between $6.6 to $6.9 billion, as they also included insurance, naval support, legal proceedings, re-routing of slower ships, and individual protective steps taken by ship-owners.
Another report from 2011 published by the consultancy firm Geopolicity Inc. investigated the causes and consequences of international piracy, with a particular focus on such activity off the coast of Somalia. The paper asserted that what began as an attempt in the mid-1990s by Somali fishermen to protect their territorial waters has extended far beyond their seaboard and grown into an emerging market in its own right. Due to potentially substantial financial rewards, the report hypothesized that the number of new pirates could swell by 400 persons annually, that pirate ransom income could in turn rise to $400 million per year by 2015, and that piracy costs as a whole could increase to $15 billion over the same period.
In 2011 alone, it has been estimated that MAERSK, the world's largest shipping company, incurred costs upwards of $200 million. To help combat this, the company introduced a 'piracy risk surcharge', ranging from $110-$170 per 40 ft equivalent unit.
According to a 2012 investigative piece by the Somalia Report, the OBP paper and other similar reports that attempt to calibrate the global cost of piracy produce inaccurate estimates based on a variety of factors. Most saliently, instead of comparing the actual costs of piracy with the considerable benefits derived from the phenomenon by the maritime industry and local parties capitalizing on capacity-building initiatives, the OBP paper conflated the alleged piracy costs with the large premiums made by insurance companies and lumped them together with governmental and societal costs. The report also exaggerated the impact that piracy has had on the shipping sector, an industry which has grown steadily in size from 25,000 billion tonnes/miles to 35,000 billion tonnes/miles since the rise of Indian Ocean piracy in 2005. Moreover, the global costs of piracy reportedly represent a small fraction of total maritime shipping expenses and are significantly lower than more routine costs, such as those brought on by port theft, bad weather conditions or fuel-related issues. In the United States alone, the National Cargo Security Council estimated that between $10–$15 billion were stolen from ports in 2003, a figure several times higher than the projected global cost of piracy. Additionally, while the OBP paper alleged that pirate activity has had a significantly negative impact on regional economies, particularly the Kenyan tourism industry, tourist-derived revenue in Kenya rose by 32% in 2011. According to the Somalia Report investigation, the OBP paper also did not factor into its calculations the overall decline in successful pirate attacks beginning in the second half of 2011, a downward trend largely brought about by the increasing use of armed guards. According to Admiral Terence E. McKnight, ransom demands and payments have risen exponentially and the financers and pirates decided they are willing to wait as long as it takes to receive "high seven-figure payouts".
Some benefits from the piracy have also been noted. In the earlier years of the phenomenon in 2008, it was reported that many local residents in pirate hubs such as Harardhere appreciated the rejuvenating effect that the pirates' on-shore spending and restocking had on their small towns, a presence which often provided jobs and opportunity when there were comparatively fewer. Entire hamlets were in the process reportedly transformed into boomtowns, with local shop owners and other residents using their gains to purchase items such as generators for uninterrupted electricity. However, the election of a new administration in 2009 in the northeastern Puntland region saw a sharp decrease in pirate operations, as the provincial authorities launched a comprehensive anti-piracy campaign and established an official maritime police force (PMPF). Since 2010, pirates have mainly operated from the Galmudug region to the south. According to the Somalia Report, the significant infrastructural development evident in Puntland's urban centers has also mainly come from a combination of government development programs, internal investment by local residents returning to their home regions following the civil war in the south, and especially remittance funds sent by the sizable Somali diaspora. The latter contributions have been estimated at around $1.3–$2 billion a year, exponentially dwarfing pirate ransom proceeds, which total only a few million dollars annually and are difficult to track in terms of spending.
Additionally, impoverished fishermen in Kenya's Malindi area in the southeastern African Great Lakes region have reported their largest catches in 40 years, catching hundreds of kilos of fish and earning 50 times the average daily wage as a result. They attribute the recent abundance and variety of marine stock to the pirates scaring away predatory foreign fishing trawlers, which have for decades deprived local dhows of a livelihood. According to marine biologists, indicators are that the local fishery is recovering because of the lack of commercial-scale fishing.
Piracy off the coast of Somalia also appears to have a positive impact on the problem of overfishing in Somali waters by foreign vessels. A comparison has been made with the situation in Tanzania further to the south, which is also affected by predatory fishing by foreign ships and generally lacks the means to effectively protect and regulate its territorial waters. There, catches have dropped to dramatically low levels, whereas in Somalia they have risen back to more acceptable levels since the beginning of the piracy.
Of the 4,185 seafarers whose ships had been attacked by the pirates and the 1,090 who were held hostage in 2010, a third were reportedly abused. Some captives have also indicated that they were used as human shields for pirate attacks while being held hostage.
According to Reuters, of the 3,500 captured during a four-year period, 62 died. The causes of death included suicide and malnutrition, with 25 of the deaths attributed to murder according to Intercargo. In some cases, the captives have also reported being tortured. Many seafarers are left traumatized after release.
According to many interviewed maritime security firms, ship owner groups, lawyers and insurance companies, fear of pirate attacks has increased the likelihood of violent encounters at sea, as untrained or overeager vessel guards have resorted to shooting indiscriminately without first properly assessing the actual threat level. In the process, they have killed both pirates and sometimes innocent fishermen, as well as jeopardizing the reputation of private maritime security firms with their reckless gun use. Since many of the new maritime security companies that have emerged often also enlist the services of off-duty policemen and former soldiers who saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, worries of a "Blackwater out in the Indian Ocean" have only intensified.
According to the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), a veritable industry of profiteers has also risen around the piracy. Insurance companies, in particular, have profited from the pirate attacks, as insurance premiums have increased significantly. DIW reports that, in order to keep premiums high, insurance firms have not demanded that ship owners take security precautions that would make hijackings more difficult. For their part, shipping companies often ignore naval guidelines on how best to prevent pirate attacks in order to cut down on costs. In addition, security contractors and the arms industry have profited from the phenomenon.
Sovereignty and environmental protection
The former UN envoy for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has stated that "because there is no (effective) government, there is … much irregular fishing from European and Asian countries," and that the UN has reliable information that European and Asian companies are dumping toxic and nuclear waste off the Somali coastline. However, he stresses that "no government has endorsed this act, and that private companies and individuals acting alone are responsible". In addition, Ould-Abdallah told the press that he approached several international NGOs, such as Global Witness, to trace the illicit fishing and waste-dumping. He added that he believes the toxic waste dumping is "a disaster off the Somali coast, a disaster (for) the Somali environment, the Somali population", and that what he terms "this illegal fishing, illegal dumping of waste" helps fuel the civil war in Somalia since the illegal foreign fishermen pay off corrupt local officials or warlords for protection or to secure counterfeit licenses. Ould-Abdallah noted that piracy will not prevent waste dumping:
I am convinced there is dumping of solid waste, chemicals and probably nuclear (waste).... There is no government (control) and there are few people with high moral ground[…] The intentions of these pirates are not concerned with protecting their environment. What is ultimately needed is a functioning, effective government that will get its act together and take control of its affairs.— Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia
Somali pirates which captured MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and military hardware, accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and declared that the $8m ransom for the return of the ship will go towards cleaning up the waste. The ransom demand is a means of "reacting to the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country for nearly 20 years", Januna Ali Jama, a spokesman for the pirates said. "The Somali coastline has been destroyed, and we believe this money is nothing compared to the devastation that we have seen on the seas."
Pirate leader Sugule Ali said their motive was "to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters … We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas." According to Johann Hari, the independent Somali news-site WardherNews found that 70 percent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence of the country's territorial waters".
Following the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, allegations have emerged that after the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in late 1991, Somalia's long, remote shoreline was used as a dump site for the disposal of toxic waste. The huge waves which battered northern Somalia after the tsunami are believed to have stirred up tonnes of nuclear and toxic waste that was illegally dumped in Somali waters by several European firms – front companies created by the Italian mafia. The European Green Party followed up these revelations by presenting before the press and the European Parliament in Strasbourg copies of contracts signed by two European companies—the Italian Swiss firm, Achair Partners, and an Italian waste broker, Progresso—and representatives of the warlords then in power, to accept 10 million tonnes of toxic waste in exchange for $80 million (then about £60 million). According to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) assessment mission, there are far higher than normal cases of respiratory infections, mouth ulcers and bleeding, abdominal hemorrhages and unusual skin infections among many inhabitants of the areas around the northeastern towns of Hobbio and Benadir on the Indian Ocean coast. UNEP continues that the current situation along the Somali coastline poses a very serious environmental hazard not only in Somalia but also in the eastern Africa sub-region.
In 1992, reports ran in the European press of "unnamed European firms" contracting with local warlords to dump toxic waste both in Somalia and off Somalia's shores. The United Nations Environment Program was called in to investigate, and the Italian parliament issued a report later in the decade. Several European "firms" — really front companies created by the Italian mafia — contracted with local Somali warlords to ship hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic industrial waste from Europe to Somalia.— Troy S. Thomas, Warlords rising: confronting violent non-state actors
Under Article 9(1)(d) of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, it is illegal for "any transboundary movement of hazardous wastes or other wastes: that results in deliberate disposal (e.g. dumping) of hazardous wastes or other wastes in contravention of this Convention and of general principles of international law".
According to Nick Nuttall of the United Nations Environmental Programme, "Somalia has been used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste starting in the early 1990s, and continuing through the civil war there", and "European companies found it to be very cheap to get rid of the waste, costing as little as $2.50 a tonne, where waste disposal costs in Europe are closer to $1000 per tonne."
At the same time, foreign trawlers began illegally fishing Somalia's seas, with an estimated $300 million of tuna, shrimp, and lobster being taken each year, depleting stocks previously available to local fishermen. Through interception with speedboats, Somali fishermen tried to either dissuade the dumpers and trawlers or levy a "tax" on them as compensation, as Segule Ali's previously mentioned quote notes. Peter Lehr, a Somalia piracy expert at the University of St. Andrews, says "It's almost like a resource swap", Somalis collect up to $100 million a year from pirate ransoms off their coasts and the Europeans and Asians poach around $300 million a year in fish from Somali waters. The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) issued a report in 2005 stating that, between 2003 and 2004, Somalia lost about $100 million in revenue due to illegal tuna and shrimp fishing in the country's exclusive economic zone by foreign trawlers.
In an effort to curb illegal fishing the Federal Government of Somalia introduced new legislation in December 2014 which banned bottom trawling by domestic and foreign vessels, made all prior licenses null and void, and reserved the first 24 nm of Somali waters for Somali fishers. Foreign fishing vessels caught an estimate 92,500 mt of fish in 2014, almost twice that caught by the Somali domestic fleet. Iran (48%) and Yemen (31%) accounted for the vast majority of foreign fish catch in the most recent year of analysis.
According to Roger Middleton of Chatham House, "The problem of overfishing and illegal fishing in Somali waters is a very serious one, and does affect the livelihoods of people inside Somalia […] the dumping of toxic waste on Somalia's shores is a very serious issue, which will continue to affect people in Somalia long after the war has ended, and piracy is resolved". To lure fish to their traps, foreign trawlers reportedly also use fishing equipment under prohibition such as nets with very small mesh sizes and sophisticated underwater lighting systems.
Under Article 56(1)(b)(iii) of the Law of the Sea Convention:
"In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has jurisdiction as provided for in the relevant provisions of this Convention with regard to the protection and preservation of the marine environment".
Article 57 of the Convention in turn outlines the limit of that jurisdiction:
"The exclusive economic zone shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured".
According to Amedeo Policante, a researcher from Goldsmiths College, University of London: "The devastating effect of these types of corporate-led form of capital accumulation cannot be overstated in a region where, according to the most recent reports of the UNEP, over 30 million people are dependent on maritime and coastal resources for their daily livelihoods. Nevertheless, there was little or no international will to insist on the implementation of the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea, which banish both over-fishing and toxic dumping in oceanic waters. This form of illegality – despite the environmental disruption and the high cost in human life it implied – was not perceived as an existential threat by states and it was therefore left unchecked. Only when piracy appeared in the region the lack of effective sovereign control over the Gulf of Aden was problematized".
As of 2013 three international naval task forces operated in the region, with numerous national vessels and task forces entering and leaving the region, engaging in counter-piracy operations for various lengths of time. The three international task forces which compose the bulk of counter-piracy operations are Combined Task Force 150 (whose overarching mission is Operation Enduring Freedom), Combined Task Force 151 (which was set up in 2009 specifically to run counter-piracy operations) and the EU naval task force operating under Operation Atalanta. All counter-piracy operations are coordinated through a monthly planning conference called Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE). Originally having representatives only from NATO, the EU, and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) HQ in Bahrain, it now regularly attracts representatives from over 20 countries.
Between 2009 and 2010, the government of the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern Somalia enacted a number of reforms and pre-emptive measures as a part of its officially declared anti-piracy campaign. In May 2010, construction also began on a new naval base in the town of Bandar Siyada, located 25 km west of Bosaso, the commercial capital of Puntland. These numerous security measures appear to have borne fruit, as many pirates were apprehended in 2010, including a prominent leader. Puntland's security forces also reportedly managed to force out the pirate gangs from their traditional safe havens such as Eyl and Gar'ad, with the pirates now primarily operating from Hobyo, El Danaan and Harardhere in the neighboring Galmudug region.
Government officials from the Galmudug administration in the north-central Hobyo district have also reportedly attempted to use pirate gangs as a bulwark against Islamist insurgents from southern Somalia's conflict zones; other pirates are alleged to have reached agreements of their own with the Islamist groups, although a senior commander from the Hizbul Islam militia vowed to eradicate piracy by imposing sharia law when his group briefly took control of Harardhere in May 2010 and drove out the local pirates.
By the first half of 2010, these increased policing efforts by Somali government authorities on land along with international naval vessels at sea reportedly contributed to a drop in pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden from 86 a year prior to 33, forcing pirates to shift attention to other areas such as the Somali Basin and the wider Indian Ocean.
In addition to naval patrolling and marine capacity building, the shipping industry implemented Best Management Practices (BMP) in the Piracy High Risk Area (HRA), a maritime area bounded by the Suez and the Strait of Hormuz.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy began participation in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden/Horn of Africa, off the Somalian coast, in December 2008; this was the first time that the modern Chinese navy was deployed to an operational mission outside of China's claimed territorial waters. In 2017, China officially opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti; the base is used for anti-piracy operations, as well as unrelated Chinese efforts aimed at "intelligence collection, non-combat evacuation operations, peacekeeping operation support, and counterterrorism."
In May 2010, a Yemeni court sentenced six Somali pirates to death and jailed six others for 10 years each, for hijacking a Yemeni oil tanker, killing one cabin crew member and leaving another missing in April 2009.
In May 2010, another Somali, Abduwali Muse, pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to seizing a United States-flagged ship Maersk Alabama and kidnapping its captain and was sentenced to 33 years imprisonment.
The first European trial of alleged Somali pirates opened in the Netherlands in May 2010. They were arrested in the Gulf of Aden in January 2009, when their high-speed boat was intercepted by a Danish frigate while allegedly preparing to board the cargo ship Samanyolu, which was registered in the Dutch Antilles. The pirates were sentenced to five years in prison, which was less than the maximum possible sentence. It is unlikely the men will be returned to Somalia after their sentence, as Somalia is considered too dangerous for deportation. One of the five has already applied for asylum in the Netherlands. Consequently, there are concerns that trials in European courts would encourage, rather than deter, pirates. However, trials are continuing in Europe. More recently in Paris, November 2011, five men were sentenced to between four and eight years; one man was acquitted. A trial also continues in Hamburg, Germany. In Italy, nine Somali pirates had been tried and sentenced to prison terms of 16 and 19 years. They had been found guilty of attempted kidnapping for extortion and illegal possession of firearms, in connection with 10 October 2011 attack and seizure of an Italian-owned cargo vessel, the Montecristo.
On 1 April 2010, USS Nicholas was on patrol off the Somali coast when it took fire from men in a small skiff. After chasing down the skiff and its mothership, US military captured five Somalis. Judge Raymond A. Jackson, a Federal District Court judge in Norfolk, Virginia threw out the piracy charge, which dates from enactment in 1819 when piracy was defined only as robbery at sea. The penalty for piracy is mandatory life in prison. The U.S. government appealed the ruling. In March 2011 the five Somalis were sentenced to life for piracy to run consecutively with the 80-year term. In the same month 13 Somalis and one Yemeni suspected of hijacking and killing four Americans aboard a yacht made their first appearance in federal court in Norfolk.
On 28 January 2011, pursuant to the naval engagement of the pirate mother vessel MV Prantalay (a hijacked Thai trawler) by Car Nicobar-class fast attack craft|INS Cankarso, the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard killed 10 pirates and apprehended 15, while rescuing 20 Thai and Burmese fishermen that were held aboard the ship as hostages. The rescued fishermen were sent to Kochi while the 15 pirates, of Somali, Ethiopian and Kenyan origin, were taken to Mumbai. The Mumbai Police confirmed that they registered a case against the pirates for attempt to murder and various other provisions under the Indian Penal Code and the Passports Act for entering the Indian waters without permission.
In May 2012, a U.S. federal appeals court upheld the convictions of five pirates, a decision which prosecutors described as the first United States-based piracy convictions in 190 years.
In October 2013, Mohamed Abdi Hassan ("Afweyne") was arrested in Belgium for having allegedly masterminded the 2009 hijacking of the Belgian dredge vessel Pompei, abducted its crew, and participated in a criminal organization. According to federal prosecutor Johan Delmulle, Hassan was responsible for the hijacking of dozens of commercial ships from 2008 to 2013. He is currently awaiting trial in Bruges, the first prosecution of a pirate leader by the international community.
2013 collapse of piracy
By December 2013, the US Office of Naval Intelligence reported that only nine vessels had been attacked during the year by the pirates, with no successful hijackings. Control Risks attributed this 90% decline in pirate activity from the corresponding period in 2012 to the adoption of best management practices by vessel owners and crews, armed private security onboard ships, a significant naval presence, and the development of onshore security forces.
In January 2014, MV Marzooqah initially sent out a distress signal indicating that it was under attack by pirates in the Red Sea. However, the container vessel turned out instead to have been seized by Eritrean military units as it entered Eritrea's territorial waters.
In March 2017, it was reported that pirates had seized an oil tanker that had set sail from Djibouti and was headed to Mogadishu. This was alleged to be the first "successful" hijacking of a large vessel since 2012. While initially the pirate crew demanded a ransom, the ship and its crew were released with no ransom paid after the pirate crew learned that the ship had been hired by Somali businessmen.
- August 2009 Egyptian hostage escape
- April 2009 raid off Somalia
- 2012 Italian Navy Marines shooting incident in the Laccadive Sea
- Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
- CIA's Special Activities Division
- Drone strikes in Somalia
- Combined Task Force 150 and Combined Task Force 151 coalition force counter-piracy operations in the region.
- Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
- International Maritime Bureau
- International Maritime Organization
- Operation Atalanta
- Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa
- People's Armed Forces Maritime Militia
- Piracy around the Horn of Africa
- Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea
- Piracy in the Strait of Malacca
- Piracy on Falcon Lake
- Pirate Round
- Ship Security Alert System
- "Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)". Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- "Chinese Navy Hands Pirates Over to Somali Authorities". Maritime executive. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- "Marine Fisheries Review, Somali fishery industry has potential for growth, December 1982, 44 (12)" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "The Advantage of Piracy". German-foreign-policy.com. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Somali pirates a far cry from buccaneers of old". The Washington Times. 11 April 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Najad Abdullahi (11 October 2008). ""'Toxic waste' behind Somali piracy", October 2008". English.aljazeera.net. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Westcott, Kathryn (23 April 2008). "Somalia's pirates face battles at sea". BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
- Somali Pirates Seize Two Ships, Sky News, 15 August 2008 Archived 16 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Commander, Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs (29 September 2008). "Combined Task Force 150 Thwarts Criminal Activities". US Africa Command. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- Starr, Barbara (29 October 2007). "U.S. destroyer pursuing hijacked ship in Somali waters, military says". CNN. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Rankin, Nick (11 March 2008). "No vessel is safe from modern pirates". BBC News. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- United Nations Security Council Verbatim Report 5902. S/PV/5902 2 June 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
- "Navy regularly releases Somali pirates, even when caught in the act". The Telegraph. 29 November 2009. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
- Bahadur, Jay (31 January 2012). "Somalia Pirates Adopt Troubling New Tactics". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Hassan, Abdiqani (23 April 2008). "Crew say lucky to be alive after Somali hijack". Reuters Africa. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
- Alaric Nightingale, Michelle Wiese Bockmann (22 October 2012). "Somalia Piracy Falls to Six-Year Low as Guards Defend Ships". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- "Somalia: International Piracy Attacks Reach Five-Year Low in 2012". Sabahi. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "Pirates Hijack Two Tankers Within 24 Hours Off Somali Shore". Fox News Channel. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
- "Factbox: Pirates stalk shipping lanes", Reuters, 9 February 2011
- "pr-canada.net". Pr-Canada.Net. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Seized tanker anchors off Somalia", BBC News, 18 November 2008
- "India: Pirate 'mother ship' left in flames". CNN. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
- Miriri, Duncan (14 November 2007). "Somali pirates killed Chinese sailor-official". Reuters. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1838.(2008) S/RES/1838 (2008) 7 October 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
- "New Somalia piracy resolution adopted at UN". Agence France-Presse. 8 October 2008. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
- "India calls for UN force to deter pirates off Somalia". The Times of India. 13 November 2008. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
- "Chinese fishing boat reported hijacked off Kenya". International Herald Tribune. Associated Press. 14 November 2008. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- "IDSS S&S FPP.indd" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "India 'sinks Somali pirate ship'". BBC News. 19 November 2008.
- "India 'Indian navy 'sank Thai trawler". BBC News. 25 November 2008.
- "India navy defends piracy sinking". BBC News. 26 November 2008.
- Pandey, Geeta (21 November 2008). "India navy 'to go after pirates'". BBC. Retrieved 21 November 2008.
- Sanders, Edmund; Barnes, Julian E. (9 April 2009). "Somalia pirates hold U.S. captain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- "Somali pirates hijack Danish ship". BBC news. 8 April 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
- "Ship carrying 20 Americans believed hijacked off Somalia". CNN. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
- "Official: US sea captain faced imminent danger". Associated Press. 12 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- Mikkelsen, Randall (12 April 2009). "US acted after pirates aimed at ship captain". Reuters. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- "US captain rescued from pirates". BBC News. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
- Verjee, Zain; Starr, Barbara (12 April 2001). "Captain jumps overboard, SEALs shoot pirates, official says". CNN. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- "US captain held by pirates freed". BBC News. 12 April 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
- "Indictment (U.S. v. Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse)". FindLaw. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
- Elise Labott (20 April 2009). "Clinton says releasing pirates sends 'wrong signal'". CNN. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
- Mohamed Ahmed (18 April 2009). "NATO frees pirate hostages, Belgian ship seized". Reuters. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
- Constant Brand (23 April 2009). "Donors Pledge Over $250 Million for Somalia". CNN. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
- "Donors pledge over $250 million for Somalia". USA Today. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
- "No dejo de pensar en la ni Niña de 12 años que vi cuando me llevaron a otro barco y en la cocinera violada por los piratas". El Mundo (in Spanish). 22 November 2009.
- "Somali pirates free Greek ship with Ukrainian crew". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
- "Pirates Step Up Threats Against British Couple, Threaten to 'Punish' Them". Fox News Channel. 8 November 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
- "BBC News: Somali pirates free UK couple Paul and Rachel Chandler". BBC. 14 November 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Harpers Magazine, Pirates and the CIA: What would Thomas Jefferson have done? by Ken Silverstein, 9 April 2009, but modified on 12 April". Harpers.org. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Mansur Mirovalev (11 May 2010). "Russia says freed pirates didn't reach land". Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
- Michael Richards (14 January 2011). "Smarter Somali pirates thwarting navies, NATO admits". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 22 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
- "Navy storms hijacked ship, rescues all 21 sailors". Korea JoongAng Daily. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- "Various News Reports, collected on Google News". Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "BBC News: Indian navy seizes pirates' Indian Ocean mothership". Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- the CNN (22 February 2011). "Americans slain by captors on hijacked yacht; pirates killed, arrested". CNN. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Somali pirate gets life in jail". BBC. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "Pirater truer med at dræbe gidsler – dr.dk/Nyheder/Udland". Dr.dk. March 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Navy intercepts pirate ship, rescues 13 sailors". Archived from the original on 16 March 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "Indian navy captures 16 Somali pirates on Iranian ship". BBC News. 28 March 2011.
- "Pirate Capture Shows U.S. Commitment to Free Seas, Leaders Say". American Forces Press Service. 7 January 2012.
- Kriel R, Duggan B (24 November 2015). "Somali pirates seize Iranian, Thai ships". CNN. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "Somali pirates release oil tanker and crew members without ransom, officials say". Retrieved 17 March 2017.
- "Somali pirates release oil tanker and crew without ransom". The Telegraph. 16 March 2017. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- "Pirates hijack oil tanker off Somalia's coast in 1st reported piracy in 5 years". CBC News. Associated Press. 14 March 2017.
- "SomaliaReport: Why Pirates Fight Each Other". Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Macruf, Harun (23 July 2010). "Magacyada Maxaabiis Soomaali ah oo ku xiran Seychelles". VOA. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- "SomaliaReport: Puntland Marine Police Force Enter Eyl". Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Anti-Piracy Campaign Launched in Hobyo Archived 8 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Hunter, Robyn (28 October 2008). "Somali pirates living the high life". BBC. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
- Bahadur, Jay (24 May 2011). "Somali pirate: 'We're not murderers... we just attack ships'". London: The Guardian (UK).
- Consortium of International Organizations (August 2011). Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia Based Piracy (PDF). Livingston: Witherby Seamanship International, London. ISBN 978-1-85609-505-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 September 2016.
- "Inside The EU's Anti-Piracy Nerve Centre". Sky News. 23 February 2012. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012.
- "Somali pirates killed 'legally'". BBC News. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
- Pflanz, Mike (14 January 2009). "Cargo ship escapes Somali pirates". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
- Bruce Sterling (3 December 2009). "The Pirate Stock Exchange". Wired. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
- Somali pirates transform villages into boom towns HuffPost
- "Pirates 'gained $150m this year'". BBC News. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
- "Somali pirates get help from expats in Canada", Toronto Star, 11 December 2008
- "Piracy ransom cash ends up with Somali militants". Reuters Editorial. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Al Qaeda Urges Somalis To Attack Ships". CBS. 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 12 February 2011.
- Vespe, Michele; Greidanus, Harm; Alvarez, Marlene Alvarez (1 September 2015). "The declining impact of piracy on maritime transport in the Indian Ocean: Statistical analysis of 5-year vessel tracking data". Marine Policy. 59: 9–15. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2015.04.018.
- Venetia Archer, Robert Young Pelton. "Can We Ever Assess the True Cost of Piracy?". Somalia Report. Archived from the original on 2 June 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- Mcknight, Terry; Michael Hirsh (2012). Pirate Alley: Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. p. 42.
- Utler, Simone (25 January 2011). "Alleine unter Piraten". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- Gill, Sharon (20 January 2011). "Maritime Piracy Costs Global Community 12 Billion a Year". Archived from the original on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- "Piracy ransom cash ends up with Somali militants". Reuters. 6 July 2011. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011.
- Tim Besley, et al. One Kind of Lawlessness: Estimating the Welfare Cost of Somali Piracy, Besley et al., June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012
- Anna Bowden, et al. The Economic Cost of Maritime Piracy, p. 13. One Earth Future, December 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2011
- Anna, Bowden. "The Economic Cost of Somali Piracy 2011" (PDF). Oceans Beyond Piracy.
- Hopkins, Nick (8 May 2012). "Outgunned Somali pirates can hardly believe their luck". The Guardian. London.
- "Private navy planned to counter pirate raids". The National.
- Owen, Jonathan (17 April 2011). "The Economics of Piracy". The Independent. London.
- Jones, Stephanie (1 January 2014). "Maritime piracy and the cost of world trade*". Competitiveness Review. 24 (3): 158–170. doi:10.1108/CR-02-2013-0008. ISSN 1059-5422.
- Young Pelton, Robert. "Plunder, Politics, Presumption and Puntland". Somalia Report. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Kenyan Fishermen Celebrate Somali Pirates" (PDF). A24Media. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 October 2010.
- Georges Pernoud (21 May 2010). Dans les îles Eparses (in French). Thalassa (television). Event occurs at 51'48", 1:00:17. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- Ocean Beyond Piracy (2 June 2011). "Human Cost of Somali Piracy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- Jonathan Saul (20 June 2011). "Deaths of Seafarers in Somali Pirate Attacks Soar". Reuters. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- "Shooting to Kill Pirates Risks Blackwater Moment". Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Torture by Somali pirates detailed at Va. trial". Associated Press. 20 April 2012.
- "UN envoy decries waste dumping off Somalia". Middle-east-online.com. 26 July 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Abdullahi, Najad (11 October 2008). "Toxic waste' behind Somali piracy'". English.aljazeera.net. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
- "Gaddafi defends Somali pirates", Daily Nation, 5 February 2009
- "Johann Hari: You Are Being Lied to About Pirates". HuffPost. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Clayton, Jonathan (4 March 2005). "Somalia's secret dumps of toxic waste washed ashore by tsunami". The Times. London. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
- It is estimated[by whom?] that it costs around $2.50 per ton to illegally dump toxic waste in Somali waters as opposed to $250 per ton for legal disposal in Europe.
- Troy S. Thomas, Stephen D. Kiser, William D. Casebeer (2005). Warlords rising: confronting violent non-state actors. Lexington Books. p.127. ISBN 0-7391-1190-6
- Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, 22 March 1989 Archived 24 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) The Environment in the News, 16 Mar 2005
- "You are being lied to about pirates". The Independent. London. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
- "Off the lawless coast of Somalia, questions of who is pirating who.", Chicago Tribune, 10 October 2008
- Dagne,Ted (2009), Somalia: Conditions and Prospects for Lasting Peace
- "Fisheries law of the Federal Republic of Somalia (Review of 2016)". ecolex.org. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
- Glaser, Sarah M.; Roberts, Paige M.; Hurlburt, Kaija J. (2019). "Foreign Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing in Somali Waters Perpetuates Conflict". Frontiers in Marine Science. 6. doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00704. ISSN 2296-7745.
- "RFI – US vessel evades capture but pirates take more". Radio France Internationale. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 10 December 1982" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Policante, Amedeo (2013). "The new pirate wars: the world market as imperial formation". Global Discourse. 3: 52–71. doi:10.1080/23269995.2013.804760.
- Commander, Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs. "New Counter-Piracy Task Force Established". United States Navy. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE)". Eunavfor.eu. Archived from the original on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Somalia: Puntland Government Continues Anti-Piracy Campaign, Rejects Monitoring Group Accusations". Puntland-gov.net. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Somalia: Puntland to start construction of new Navy base". Horseedmedia.net. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Pirate on US wanted list arrested in Somalia". ABC News. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Puntland president delineates government achievement". Garoweonline.com. 9 January 2010. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Microsoft Word – KirkReportfinal.docx" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 November 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Gettleman, Jeffrey (1 September 2010). "In Somali Civil War, Both Sides Embrace Pirates". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Haji, Mustafa (2 May 2010). "Somali Islamists vow to end piracy, pirates flee with ships". Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Ng, Eileen (15 July 2010). "World pirate attacks drop 18%". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Somalia: Puntland forces arrest wanted pirates in Garowe". Garoweonline.com. 18 May 2010. Archived from the original on 21 May 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Ferguson, Jane (20 April 2011). "Life inside Somaliland's pirate prison". CNN. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- "Somaliland coast guard tries to prevent piracy". Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 13 May 2013.
- Alison A. Kaufman (July 2009). "Conference Report: China's Participation in Anti-Piracy Operations off the Horn of Africa: Drivers and Implications" (PDF). CNA.
- Tyler Headley, China's Djibouti Base: A One Year Update, The Diplomat (4 December 2018).
- "Yemen court sentences six Somali pirates to death". Reuters. 18 May 2010.
- "Somali pirate sentenced to 33 years in US prison". BBC News. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
- "Trial of alleged Somali pirates opens in Netherlands". BBC. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- Foy, Henry (17 June 2010). "Somali pirates jailed by Dutch court". The Guardian. London.
- Thomas, Annie (17 November 2011). "Homesick Somali 'pirates' on trial in Paris". Archived from the original on 23 February 2014.
- Connolly, Kate (22 November 2010). "Somali 'pirates' go on trial in Hamburg". The Guardian. London.
- Crippa, Matteo (2 December 2012). "UPDATE: Convictions in First Italy Piracy Trial". Piracy-law.com. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- Crippa, Matteo (27 March 2012). "Historic Piracy Trial Opens in Italy". Piracy-law.com. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- Nelson, Katie (1 April 2010). "U.S. Navy captures 5 Somali pirates; seizes pirate mother ship off Kenya, Somali coasts". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- McGlone, Tim (8 November 2010). "Federal judges in Norfolk wrestle over definition of piracy | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com". HamptonRoads.com. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- McGlone, Tim (15 March 2010). "5 Somali pirates get life for attack on Nicholas". HamptonRoads.com. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Reilly, Corinne (3 November 2010). "Arabian Sea piracy suspects appear in Norfolk court". HamptonRoads.com. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "U.S. Court Upholds Somali Pirates' Conviction". The New York Times. 23 May 2012.
- James Bridger (4 November 2013). "The Rise and Fall of Somalia's Pirate King". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Yanofsky, David (27 December 2013). "Somali piracy was reduced to zero this year". Quartz. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Somali piracy is down 90 per cent from last year". The Journal. 15 December 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Ship manned by Egyptians seized by Eritrean forces not pirates". Reuters. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- "Pirates hijack oil tanker off Somalia's coast". 14 March 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- "Somali pirates release oil tanker and crew after first hijack for five years". 16 March 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- Media related to Piracy in Somalia at Wikimedia Commons
- Somalia Report publishes a weekly piracy report
- Piracy Studies A knowledge resource and online bibliography on contemporary maritime piracy]
- European Union Naval Force Somalia – Operation Atalanta
- Website of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia Report including all official documents an papers on lessons from piracy
- Alexandre Maouche: Piracy along the Horn of Africa: An Analysis of the Phenomena within Somalia, June 2011
- Christian Bueger, Learning from Piracy: Future Challenges of Maritime Security Governance, Global Affairs, 1(1), 33–42, 2015
- Stig Jarle Hansen, Piracy in the greater Gulf of Aden, Myths, Misconception and Remedies, NIBR Report 2009:29, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research
- aperto-nota.fr maritime routes off Somalia (2011)
- Lorenzo Striuli, La pirateria nel golfo di Aden, Italian Military Center for Strategic Studies report (2009) (In Italian)
- VSOS Indian Ocean Maritime Security
- Global Governance Institute publishes on Somalia and the EU
- International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre, International Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Crime Services
- Interactive Map, Attacks in 2013, TODAY Online
- Martino Sacchi, Piracy in Somalia: a long term menace or a phenomenon in its last throes? Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 2013