Abbott Clay & Reed

Posts Tagged ‘pirate attacks’

Top 5 Pirate Regions in the World Today

In Jones Act Law, Maritime, Pirates on May 4, 2009 at 2:33 PM

People have for years had a romanticized and fantasized version of piracy floating around their heads due to a number of literary and film sources. However, recent events have brought pirates back into sharp focus, and shown that there are a number of places in the world where piracy is a very real and very dangerous issue. Although the US navy and coast-guard has all but eradicated piracy around the United States and in the Caribbean, these five locations all have very real threats to ocean vessels posed by pirates in the region.

  1. Somalia – Somali pirate attacks have been in the news a very large amount in the last year, and the region is extremely dangerous for foreign ships currently. The problem is so severe that there have been cases of multiple pirate attacks taking place in a single day.

  1. The Strait of Malacca – A strait of water which is patrolled by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Although attacks have decreased, it is still a piracy hotbed. The amount of trade traffic and the locations for hiding a vessel make it ideal for piracy.

  1. Yemen – On the Asian side of the water that separates Africa from Asia, Yemen faces Somalia and Ethiopia and is subject to attacks by the same pirates.

  1. West Coast of Africa – Although there have been many less attacks here than on the east coast, there have still been reported attacks off the coasts of Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, and Ghana.

  1. South America – Although a vast majority of attacks take place in the regions already mentioned, there have been some attacks in the last year in various coastal waters around the northern countries of South America. Waters belonging to countries like Venezuela, Peru, and Columbia have all seen pirate attacks within the last year.




Piracy Today: A Crime without Punishment?

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2009 at 5:17 AM

Though our world has evolved remarkably since the days of swashbuckling sea captains, we still see piracy occurring. And, although we are in the age of technology, the piracy that we are referring to has nothing to do with copyright violation. Back are the days of pirate ships. Back are the days of feeling as if one must constantly scan the waters around them to be prepared and more aware of an impending attack.

Yes, today, pirates still exist. Quite honestly, they probably never ceased to exist; we just didn’t hear that much about them because pirate attacks were so rare. However, within the past year, more than 80 boats have fallen victim to pirates. In fact, it is estimated that pirates have at least 20 boats and somewhere in the vicinity of 300 hostages currently in their possession. The attacks are only increasing in number and, unfortunately, it seems as if there is little that can be done about the situation.

The majority of these pirates are from Somalia, a lawless country since 1991. Many of the attacks occur within the waters of the Gulf of Aden, a popular through route just off the coast of Somalia. The Somalian pirates believe that they have good reason to commit these acts, which, in any other country, would be considered criminal. Their pirating activities began sometime in the early 1990’s, after the fall of the Somalian Government. It is believed to have started when fishing vessels from other countries began illegally fishing the waters off the coast of Somalia. In an attempt to get back some of the income that was lost when these vessels depleted the Somalian waters of fish and lobster, Somalian fisherman began hijacking foreign vessels and holding the boats and crew members for ransom. Because the ransom is almost always paid, these pirates continue their attacks.

Unfortunately, though mounting concern of many countries exists and measures are being put into place to curb these instances, little has changed in the way of prosecution. NATO currently has no policy for detainment of these individuals. In short, many of the countries affected by this pirating are saddled with the burden of prosecution. And, many times, do not even have that opportunity available to them.

Rescued American Ship Captain Arrives in Kenya

In Hijacking, Hostage, Jones Act Law, Pirates on April 16, 2009 at 9:57 AM

The Voice of America reports on Richard Phillip arriving in Kenya after being rescued by the U.S. Navy. Three Navy sharpshooters shot three of his captures just before his rescue.

As the Pirate attacks escalate in the region the Jones Act and it’s applicable laws we no doubt ably again be reviewed by our Justice System. It is interesting that these laws of the early 20th Century are still as necessary today for acts of Piracy as they certainly must have been during their penning.

We are curious to see if the Jones Act in it’s current form will be able to properly defend the rights of these seamen in international territories working for US based companies. It is our opinion that not only will it hold it’s own but in fact with further strengthen legal ramifications across all aspects of the shipping and maritime industries.