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23 Interesting Facts About Somali Pirates (23 photos)

Pretty cool facts.

Piracy off the coast of Somalia started with fisherman defending their territory.Somali pirates 23
After the Somali government collapsed in 1991 other nations started fishing and dumping toxic waste in Somali waters.Somali pirates 22
The local fisherman would board the foreign vessels and demand a fee.Somali pirates 1
They called themselves the Coast Guard and their stated mission was to defend Somalia’s territorial integrity until the formation of a new government.Somali pirates 2
These patrols eventually expanded their reach and their motives.Somali pirates 3
Piracy is now Somalia’s biggest source of income bringing in nearly 200 million annually.Somali pirates 4
Most of the pirates are young and come from the war torn southern regions.Somali pirates 5
There are typically three categories of pirates.Somali pirates 6
The first is the fisherman. They are valuable for their seafaring skill and knowledge of the open waters.Somali pirates 7
The second is the ex-militiaman. They previously fought for local warlords and clans.Somali pirates 8
The third is the technical expert who operates equipment such as GPS devices.Somali pirates 9
The closest Somali word for pirate literally translates as ocean robber but most of the pirates prefer a term translated as saviors of the sea.Somali pirates 10
With the use of motherships, the range of pirate skiffs has been extended well into the Indian Ocean.Somali pirates 11
Pirates generally access the ships via ladders that they bring with them.Somali pirates 12
They will then typically use RPGs and small arms to intimidate the crew.Somali pirates 13
Harming the crew typically goes strongly against the pirate code so there have not been very many pirate related casualties in the last few decades.Somali pirates 14
The policy of not harming hostages also ensures that governments are less likely to step in and employ do not negotiate tactics.Somali pirates 15
The operations are now very vast and intricate with an actual stock exchange existing where financiers can buy stock in upcoming raids.Somali pirates 16


There are numerous third parties benefiting from piracy as well. These include insurance providers and pirates who have set up operations to double as pirate negotiators.Somali pirates 17
Another interesting side effect is that formerly impoverished Somali and Kenyan fisherman are now able to make a living as fish populations return to normal after the departure of foreign fishing vessels.Somali pirates 18
Apparently Britney Spears songs have been used as a deterrent against pirates by warships in the region.Somali pirates 19
Several pirates have been prosecuted already, notably 6 were executed by a Yemeni court.Somali pirates 20
In contrast, those tried in Europe receive several years in prison and are then typically not sent back to Somalia because it is deemed as too dangerous.Somali pirates 21source: eBaumsworld

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