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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Pirates of the European Union

Posted to On the waterfront (by on November 12, 2009

Are we giving too much media coverage to the pirates?

The issue of piracy on the open waves doesn’t seem to be far from the news at the moment. Now, this might be because of what my dad rather gruesomely calls the ‘dog bites baby’ syndrome, when something happens once then every story in the newspaper seems to be about the same issue, or it just might be because the number of piracy cases are on the increase. 

Now, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that a big shiny ship filled with toys, food or clothes is rather appealing to a group of disenfranchised young men, especially when a bit of excitement and drama may turn it into a pot of cash. Factor in a global economic downturn and shipping companies desperate to protect themselves and you have a veritable party of potential. 

One of the latest pirate adventures has seen a retired British couple captured off the coast of Somalia, the area that’s been gaining the most publicity for its particularly active pirates. The pirates have threatened that Paul and Rachel Chandler will be used as ‘insurance’ for any attempt made to rescue the crew of a Spanish fishing trawler that was also captured this month. 

The extensive publicity gained by such cases has the worrying effect of increasing the visibility of the pirates, thus increasing their power and hold of the situation and, in turn, raising the likelihood of financial gain. Not to mention the fact that it adds a little more drama to the situation. 

Consequently, the Seychelles and the European Union have agreed to commit to an agreement that authorises EU naval forces to find and detain suspected Somali pirates, which will compliment similar agreements signed between the Seychelles and France and the USA. The small country plays a key role in this issue as its waters rely on the Somalia coastal area of the Indian Ocean. 


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