The Economist magazine (April 11, 2013) quotes a World Bank estimate of an $18 billion annual cost of piracy. Other estimates are listed in the notes and errata section of the Pirate Hunting page.
Piracy News & Commentary
December 24, 2012
A BZ to Puntland forces who rescued 22 hostages aboard the MV Iceberg 1. The ship was captured by Somali pirates almost three years ago.
September 26, 2012
Good article on the present state of Somali piracy: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/party-somali-pirates-attacks-17320672. It's still too soon to tell if the scourge of Somali piracy is nearly over--it may have a brief respite, and there's always the unlikely chance of a significant increase in tactical ability--but at least time has proved Read More
May 9, 2012
January 25, 2012
A BZ to the Navy SEALs, along with other U.S. special operations forces, who rescued two aid workers captured by pirates--by criminal elements ashore who often work as pirates, that is. Nine pirates were killed in the rescue. According to local sources, as well as some early news reports citing an FBI source, Read More
December 16, 2011
Mohamud Hirs Issa Ali, a former Somali police officer who became the commander of a band of nineteen pirates, was convicted in Virginia of piracy and for his role in the murder of four U.S. citizens aboard the yacht Quest. He was sentenced to life in prison. A former electrician, Jilian Read More
December 16, 2011
As I noted more than a year ago in Pirate Hunting and years ago in notes and blogs, armed guards remain the most viable interim solution to Somali piracy. Both governments and shipping companies to a large degree have accepted this as inevitable.
October 2, 2011
This week the Spanish government approved the use of heavy machineguns by private security forces against Somali pirates. Some analysts have been quick to condemn this act as leading to a possible arms race at sea. The machineguns--often described in commentary as "heavy weapons," leaving an impression of more powerful arms--fire a 12.7x99mm NATO, that is, the .50 BMG round. In other words, Read More
September 28, 2011
Again, commentators are making much of Somali pirate "swarm" tactics, and appear to be surprised by them. Let me repeat: tactics will evolve! Possible future tactics include the ability to breach citadels; the use (with dire consequences for Somali pirates) of heavier weapons; better communication and coordination among Somali pirates, making swarm tactics more Read More