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Somalian Pirates – Putting an end to Somalian Piracy

Updated on November 20, 2009

Paul and Rachel Chandler

Somalian Piracy has been in the news for a while now; I was prompted to write this, after hearing that the British Couple from Kent, London UK, were still being held by these Pirates. They were hi-jacked from their Yacht on 23 Oct, as they sailed from Seychelles towards Tanzania. The pirates have threatened to kill the couple if their demand of $7m (£4.2m) ransom is not met.


So, how did this Piracy issue come about?

It is believed that European companies were using the Somalians shorelines as a dump for their disposal of toxic waste. As a result, lots of fish were killed and it reduced the profitability of the Somalian Fishing industry. So, The fishermen asked the local thugs to help them protect their shoreline. The thugs used violence and started hijacking western ships that were dumping toxic waste and holding them until their companies paid ransom. Some of the companies were making payments and it started to look like a way of survival for the Somalians.They are now making millions of dollars in Ransom Payments. Somali hijackers earned between $30 and $40 million in ransom in 2008. (Details at the bottom)

Example: News 17 Nov 09 - Somali pirates free 36 hostages, claim $3M ransom

How can the Piracy be ended? What are the Possible Solutions?

1) President Obama needs to speed things up. In April 09, Obama pledged to stop Somalian Piracy.

“I want to be very clear that we are resolved to halt the rise of piracy in that region,” Mr. Obama said. “And to achieve that goal, we’re going to have to continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks. We have to continue to be prepared to confront them when they arise. And we have to ensure that those who commit acts of piracy are held accountable for their crimes.”

From the increased amount of ships still being attacked, it gives me the impression Obama hasn’t done much or maybe the situation is no longer a priority.


2) Arming crews of cargo and fishing ships with effective weapons. This is a good solution but I’ve found out there is so much Red Tape. E.g Legal liability, insurance costs that shipping companies don’t want to deal with etc.

3) Maybe air strikes or special-operations raids, that would hinder the Pirates by destroying their boats and confiscating their weapons.

4) Not paying the Ransom. The problem with this is companies wouldn’t want blood on their hands and if staff were killed or attacked, there would be Law suits every where.

5) Finally, I think if Somalia has an effective government, good law enforcement. The problem would cease. Somalia has been lawless for about 18 years.

The Chandler's

I am hoping that Paul and Rachel Chandler, will be released safely soon. I'm sure the Nations thoughts and Prayers are with them.

Full Story

List of ships attacked.


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    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from London, UK

      @GetiScene - So true. Why put crew at their mercy. I am just so glad that since writing this article, the Chandlers returned to UK safely and there have been less Piracy incidents. (actually haven't heard any).

      Thanks for stopping.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      A subject VERY close to my heart and one that is, somewhat heatedly, debated in the boating community. I have some strong opinions about how to defend your vessel and your crew from pirates but I believe you have hit the nail on the head when you suggest that the way to resolve piracy in Somalia is to fix Somalia. I don't blame hungry people for acting desperately but it doesn't mean I would put my crew at their mercy either.

    • hypnodude profile image


      8 years ago from Italy

      It's a pleasure.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Wow Hypnodude, your comments are very interesting and give me some food for thought. It seems there are some things happening behind the scenes.

      As you wrote, I hope the couple are set free soon. It's Christmas next week. Thanks for stopping. :)

    • hypnodude profile image


      8 years ago from Italy

      When something happens the first question to ask is "Cui Bono", or who earns from it? I red on an article that as soon as ships leave seaports someone well payed sends messages to pirate to be ready to assault. When this things keep going on and on without being stopped is always because someone has great advantages, like money, power, leverage, whatever.

      Here in Italy we've had a big problem with kidnappings some years ago which have been solved probably when there was no more money to raise. And I'm talking about whole villages involved in that, not just a bunch of criminals. Obviously there are no easy solutions, but no one would have begun a brawl with Mike Tyson when world champion right? Pirates do not hunt warships. Governments could easily end piracy only that they don't really want. Some Seal squads or Spetnaz squads could easily end it in a month but then no more business.

      Oh yes, maybe they're waiting for the big fish, a practice that has demonstrated its complete fallacy in the war against drugs. Because small fishes when the big fish get caught have the bad ability to become big themselves. So nothing changes. But probably they just don't know.

      Paul and Rachel Chandler could be free in a week, but obviously not through diplomacy.

      And very great hub, as usual. :)

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks so much for your comments Ngureco. It's good for people to have more insight into how all this came about. Very good points raised - I just hope a solution is found before it's too late.

      Thanks again.

      Best Wishes

    • ngureco profile image


      8 years ago

      Dumping was also piracy. A warlord take control of a length of shoreline and sell it for millions of sterling pounds to foreign companies as dumping site for disposal of toxic waste. That’s when the bigger money was made. Sooner, the warlords realized the lives of their people and fish were threatened by toxic waste, they found disposal of toxic waste as a good excuse to get into serious piracy as a means to make more “easy” money.

      In 1993, the Americans’ “Operation Gothic Serpent” was surrendered hurriedly in Somalia never to return again. Why? Does it mean the world can not get a solution for Somalia whilst at the same time the world seems to have solutions for Iraq and Afghanistan?

      Thank you, Lady Elena, for bringing this issue out. The situation in Somalia is desperate and the world need do something about Somalia today and not tomorrow. When people see these things on television they may think it's a movie but these are real life experiencies happening to daughters and sons of women.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Songster - You do have a point. That's why the piracy started. (dumping toxic wastes etc). However, its now got way out of hand and a solution is needed as innocent lives are at risk.

      Thanks for stopping. Nice to read from you. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well couldn't they stop dumping the the toxic waste on their beaches and killing their fish? If they could tell them we are going to stop this practice how do you feel about stopping the piracy because we can assure you that it won't be allowed to go on indefinately and violence will be coming their way soon.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      * Thanks Philipo, lets hope it becomes "No Business" instead of "Big Business". Cheers for stopping.

      * Hi Dolores, Thanks for your comments, I hope a Government returns to stabilise the Country. Cheers.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      As James above said, the pirates live in a failed state with a failed government and economy. Desperate times call for desperate measures. God help the poor hostage couple, but one must ask the question - why pirates all of a sudden?

    • Philipo profile image


      8 years ago from Nigeria

      I really feel for them. Piracy has really become a big business. Just like kidnapping was a big business in Nigeria until recently that government stepped in by offering to grant amnesty to the militants, train and take care of them. I expect Obama to react more desicively on this than mere talk. Action is required. The security agents know what to do.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello Fastfreta, I hope the couple are released. The little hope is that, Somalians have no track record of killing Hostages. Thanks for your comments. Always a pleasure to read from you. :)

      ** Hi Floatingmind, you are right. International Countries are only getting involved cos it's their people being kidnapped. I feel like asking uncle Mandela to give them a good telling off and put some system in place to end it. Thanks for your comments - much appreciated. :)

    • floating mind profile image

      floating mind 

      8 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Thought provoking. Good hub. Unfortunately, international problems are rarely solved by other countries without the help of the host country. Somalia and other countries that harbor pirates (knowingly or unknowingly) really need to come together to create a world wide system to stop piracy.

      A good first step is always about keeping people informed about the problem. Thanks. Well done.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Lady_E, you did it again, another great hub, with great research. I do hope this situation is cleared up soon,and the couple is released soon. What a sad situation for all sides concerned, this is the kind of situation where no one wins.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Hi James, Thanks for your comments.

      I hope the Country improves as their Piracy issues might start to taint the rest of Africa.

      Nice to read from you.

    • James Agbogun profile image

      James Agbogun 

      8 years ago

      Somalia is a failed state as well as in the claws of extremists. This complicates the piracy issue. It is a very important article you came up with.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Hello Dohn, Katrika, Resspenser, Mac Mission and Nancy.

      Thank for visiting and also for your comments.

      They were Broadcast on the news yesterday night 20 Nov (with the permission of their family). The Chandlers were asking for the government to intervene or they would be killed but annoyingly as they were talking, about 4 Pirates had rifles pointed at them. Upsetting to watch and as you have written - I hope they are FREE soon.

      Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 

      8 years ago

      Pirates in 2009! Unthinkable and to think that this kind of lunacy still exist. People who behave in this manor have no value of life.

    • Mac Mission profile image

      Mac Mission 

      8 years ago from bangalore

      piracy cant be erased ... ... its difficult ... nice message ..

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Good hub. Is the toxic dumping thing a fact? It strikes me as odd that pirates would be involved in national security.

      I hope the Chandlers will get out of this safely.

      A thug is a thug, regardless of their nationality.

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 

      8 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      This is a terribly sad situation - i feel for these poor people! Kartika

    • dohn121 profile image


      8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I hope that the Chandlers are safe and well too. Thanks Lady_E for sharing this one. It's almost appalling that even in the 21st century, we still have piracy on our seas.


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