By Prerna Bakshi
While history recounts the plunderous eras when pirates reigned over high seas, sabotaged trade and caused anarchy on land, Somalian piracy materialises this into the grim reality of the 21st century.
What started off in the war torn region of Somalia as a local effort by fishermen to protect their coastline, soon evolved into one of the deadliest installations of modern day maritime piracy with pirates infesting waters as far as 1000 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia into the Indian Ocean and as strategic for global trade as the Gulf of Aden.
More than 30,000 vessels annually transit the Gulf of Aden (GOA) and more than 20% of global trade moves through this route. With nearly 4000 crewmembers of 125 different nationalities captured by 2012, 150 ships reportedly ransomed for an estimated $US385 million, and insurance premiums increased by almost 10 fold for ships transiting this route, Somalian piracy exerts its influence on world trade, international relations and global politics and has assumed a ‘pandemic’ status worldwide.
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