While piracy in Somalia’s Gulf of Aden is currently on the decline, it has spread to West Africa. But for many people, the phrase maritime piracy evokes images of a one-eyed sailor drinking rum and singing obscene songs, or like Hollywood actor Johnny Depp, wearing a headband in a scene from the film Pirates of the Caribbean.
But maritime piracy is not just an action movie. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea defines piracy as “illegal acts of violence or detention” committed on the high seas against ships or aircrafts.
Piracy is a serious problem and it poses a real threat not only to the safety of vessels and their crews, but also to the economies of affected countries.