Friday, January 01, 2010


Small-Scale Piracy

Mention of piracy brings to mind, first of all, Somalia, but also Nigerian coastal waters (another hot spot), and of course the Strait of Malacca, where piracy is now largely suppressed by the expenditure of much energy on joint patrols. But we hear little about small-scale piracy. “Fisherman face rash of attacks” provides a window on this little-known phenomenon. This article describes how Iranian pirates prey on UAE fishermen (presumably this is not condoned by the Iranian government). Although I haven’t done any research in this area, this suggests that such piracy may be widespread in unstable parts of the world. At the very least, instability provides the opportunity for such activities, while poverty would provide a strong motive. Watch for more of this — not to mention more “highway robbery” on land — as energy decline leads to weaker social order and law enforcement.

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