Pirate havens are ports or harbors that are a safe place for pirates to repair their vessels, resupply, recruit, spend their plunder, avoid capture, and/or lie in wait for merchant ships to pass by. The areas have governments that are unable or unwilling to enforce maritime laws. This creates favorable conditions for piracy.
These havens were often near maritime shipping lanes. Although some havens were merely hidden coves, some were established by governments who employed privateers to disrupt the overseas trade of rival nations.
On the Barbary Coast
Historically, the Barbary Coast contained a number of pirate havens, notably Salé, Algiers and Tunis. These pirate havens were used by Corsairs from the 16th to the 19th century. The pirates, dubbed "Barbary Pirates", ravaged European shipping and enslaved thousands of captives. The Pirate Republic of Salé, in 17th century Morocco, was a micronation with its own seaport argot known as "Franco," since like other pirate states, it from time to time made treaties with European governments, agreeing not to attack their fleets.
The United States Navy was founded, in part, to counter the activities of the Barbary pirates, and the United States fought the First and Second Barbary Wars (1801–1805, 1815) to end this threat to its shipping.
On the Somali Coast
In the early 2000s piracy became common place off the coast of Somalia. During this period, pirate havens included Eyl, in the Puntland region of northern Somalia, and Harardhere (Xarard-heere), in the Mudug province of Somalia. During the same time period Transitional Federal Government of Somalia was believed to unable to enforce maritime laws. Other modern havens included Garaad and Hobyo in central Somalia.
List of examples
- Barataria Bay in the United States
- Campeche in Mexico
- Porto Farina in Tunis
- Harardhere in Somalia
- Libertatia in Madagascar
- Matanzas in Cuba
- New Providence (Republic of Pirates) in the Bahamas
- Port Royal in Jamaica
- Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands
- Tortuga in Haiti
- Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands
- "Pirate Utopias (Do or Die)".
- Mazzetti, Mark; Otterman, Sharon (2009-04-09). "U.S. Captain is Hostage of Pirates; Navy Ship Arrives". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
- http://www.tiede.fi, the Finnish science magazine Tiede, no 5/2011
- Peter Lamborn Wilson, Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes ISBN 1-57027-158-5 (Autonomedia, 1996)
- Peter Ludlow, Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias ISBN 0-262-12238-3 (2001)
- Hakim Bey, TAZ - The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism ISBN 1-57027-151-8 (Autonomedia, 2003)
- Hannu Pesonen, Somalian merirosvot kukistuvat kuten kaikki edeltäjänsä Tiede (Finnish science magazine) no. 5/2011, pp. 44–49 (Sanoma magazines, 2011)
- Pirate Utopias - From "Temporary Autonomous Zone"