Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maritime Piracy

We've all watched news stories of daring rescues of pirate attack captives in that area of the world known as the Horn of Africa. It seems so far away from us and yet these stories cover the tip of an economic iceberg that touches us all.

Attacks in this region have grown to a point within the past few years where shipping lanes through the Suez Canal have been threatened. What this means is that maritime insurance costs have gone up and those ships that are rerouted around the Horn of Africa (the southern tip of Africa) add a cost to shipment that is transferred to industries and businesses that rely on the goods transported. These added cost are eventually applied to products purchased by consumers. Counter measures by nations like the United States also mean tax dollars spent to protect ships from attack The economic impact of maritime piracy ripples out to affect us all.

Below are links to information on maritime piracy. Most interesting are the IMB map and the information from the U.S. Secretary of State. Piracy is not something limited to the Horn of Africa. It is found in several other regions of the world as well affecting the movement of goods and people. Another point of interest are the cooperative efforts of nations around the globe who recognize the need to work together to combat this menace.

IMB Live Piracy Map 2009
(A map showing worldwide piracy attacks with added current and historic information / provided by ICC Commercial Crime Services)

International Maritime Piracy
(The U.S. Department of State highlights areas of maritime piracy for travelers)

Economic Impact of Piracy on Global Trade
(The U.S. Maritime Administration)

The European Union and Piracy
(The European Union Response)

Maritime Security Centre
(The European Union Security Center for the Horn of Africa)

Countering Piracy Off the Horn of Africa
(The U.S. Government Response)

Counter Piracy Operation Allied Protector

Worldwide Threats to Shipping
(U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence)

Piracy - The East Africa/Somalia Situation
(Practical Measures to Avoid, Deter or Delay Piracy Attacks)

Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
(An excellent listing of online resources supplied by the National Defense University Library)

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