Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pirates Are Back In A Big Way

Despite the fact that there have not been any peg-legged, eye patch wearing, puffy shirted sea salts with parrots on their shoulders terrorizing the seas for the past 200+ years, piracy never went away. And though you may not realize it, the cost of piracy is tremendous. Some estimates place as much as a 16 billion dollar yearly price tag on piracy. That's lost cargo, ship damage, insurance costs, etc.. I'm sure quite a bit of that cost gets placed on the consumer.

In some spots piracy is actually flourishing. Like the Somali coast, which has been experiencing a massive increase in piracy. They've gotten so brazen and well-armed that a tanker containing 30+ Soviet era T-72 main battle tanks was just recently seized by 40 to 50 pirates. They're demanding $20 million for the release of the ship. They won't get it, and they won't get the ship to port either, because there's a US destroyer (among other warships of various nationalities) waiting to send them to Davey Jones' Locker the second they make a break.

The French have also recently been forced to take notice of the problem plaguing the Somali coast. In April they had some of their commandos (who are really quite proficient, contrary to popular belief) open a can of whoop derriere on some Somali pirates who had seized a boat carrying French tourists.

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