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What routes and types of ships are most vulnerable to maritime piracy and why? 

Understanding Maritime Piracy

Maritime piracy is one of the most challenging factors for the international law. It includes plundering, hijacking or detention the ships in international waters (Dabrowski & De Villiers, 2015). Under the Customary International Law, maritime piracy is a criminal offence. The term piracy denotes an act in the form of robbery by ships on other ship or coastal area with an intention to grab valuable things and properties. The geographic framework of a country helps the pirates to attack. Certain areas like the Somali Island, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean are the most effective portion that has been attacked by the pirates (Bueger, 2015). In this report, certain routes are discussed regarded as the most vulnerable routes for maritime piracy and certain ships are specifically mentioned that used in such offence.

In this modern world, where the trade relation among various countries is of great importance, secure oceans are necessary and paramount for the humanity. According to the International Maritime Organisation, International shipping facts and figures-Information resources on trade, safety, security, environment, over all 90% international transportation has been conducted through the oceanic path (Marchione & Wilson, 2016). However, this path has been threatened by certain unauthorised and illegal authorities and among them, pirates are the most harmful enemy for this path. There are many incidents took place, where the ships, cargo and goods are abducted or looted by the bandits or the pirates. For the last few decades, the maritime pirates have posed them as the potential threat for the international treaties and the oceanic trading (Gaibulloev & Sandler, 2016). The term pirate has derived its origin from the Latin word “pirata” that means sea robber. Certain conventions have been internationally to curb those activities and certain provisions have been inserted in the Customary International Law. In 1982, United Nation has implemented Law of Sea Convention to generate awareness against the maritime piracy. Under A.1025 (26) of the IMO resolution, the term “armed robbery” against ships is defined and certain statistics have been made by the organisation on maritime piracy.

Further, the incidents of maritime piracy has been increased day today and according to the report submitted by the economic costs of Somali piracy 2011, more than the Somali pirates abduct 1118 persons. There are certain places that become the soft targets for the pirates. Most of the happenings are generated to those places. Further, according to various sources, the maritime pirates in their courses also target certain types of ships. All such particulars are discussing below:

Considering the style of piracy in different portion of the world, the types of ships could be divided into certain kinds such as traditional piracy and Somalian piracy. Traditional piracy could be observed in certain portion includes Malacca straits. In this type of piracy, the pirates are usually getting onboard and trying to snatch the stores of the ship, money or other valuable items of the ship. On the other hand, in case of somalian piracy style, the pattern is quite violent. They are not just stealing the goods, but abducting all the voyagers, the goods, and the cargo as well (Acharya, Harding & Harris, 2017).

Vulnerable Routes for Piracy

Further, the vulnerability of piracy depends on the size and speed of ship. Certain large ships and yachts are remains most vulnerable for the pirates. However, according to the reports submitted by the ICC International Maritime Bureau, the size and speed of the boats are less important until any terrorist gang captures the ships with an intention to reveal their credibility on the same (Gikonyo, 2018). Further, if the pirates that a wealthy man is voyaging in the ship have received information. According to the report, the shipping oil vessels are one of the softest targets for the pirates and they can easily earn profits on the same. Certain incidents have been reported in the Somali-based islands, where the pirates had abducted the oil tankers including the sailors. Apart from the huge profit, the oil tanks are vulnerable due to their negotiation costs. The pirates could get lump sum money to release the tankers. The ICC International Maritime Bureau has done certain statistical programs on the incidents and it has been opined by them that the Somali-based pirates generate the most of the maritime pirate attacks (Erickson & Strange, 2016). Among the pirates, certain goods such as diesels are of that importance and they are collecting information about such voyages and generating attack therefore. Additionally, the container ships are able to voyage over 20 knots that facilitates the pirates to track them in their GPS system.      

Maritime piracy is a common factor now days and many people from different countries are affected by this. However, there are certain places that become soft and vulnerable targets for the pirates to generate their attacking plan. Places like Malacca straits, South China sea, Somali, Gulf of Aden and Indian Oceans lead that place. Gulf of Aden is the main entrance point of Red Sea and it is one of the main trading routes that leading to the Suez Canal. This place is adjacent to the Somali Island and the geographic feature of the gulf has attracted the sea robbers. Somali is the most affected area for maritime piracy and sheer poverty in those areas are the main reason for such offences. Further, due to the inefficiency of government, certain environmental degradation has been occurred by these states. The piracy rates in those areas have attracted the international concern and international confrontation has made this place highlighted. Another affected area is Indian Ocean. There are many reasons that the sea pirates have targeted the place. The coast of Indian Ocean is full of energetic resources and it is one of the epicentre for gold, tin, cobalt and uranium (Weldemichael, Schneider & Winner, 2017). Therefore, the commercial chances in this place could not be denied or avoided and the pirates are taking illegal advantage of it. Further, according to the Maritime report, Indian Ocean holds 30% of global trade all over the world. This place connects certain global trade place such as Straits of Hormuz and Malacca. This has made this place as a global beneficial point. Therefore, these places are mostly affected by their geographical position and global importance.

Types of Ships Targeted

The multinational maritime counter-theft activities in the Gulf of Aden, in the Somali Basin and in the Western Indian Ocean have lessened the rate of fruitful sea robbery and furnished burglary against deliver assaults in the zone of tasks of the multinational maritime powers. All things considered, it has not halted the Somali privateers and outfitted thieves adrift to stop their action yet rather they have endeavoured to discover different ways and strategies to adjust to the circumstance for example, leading assaults outside the multinational maritime powers region of tasks in presenting the mother send framework. The sea-locales that are undermined by Somali privateers and outfitted pilfer adrift are regions where the large portion of the oceanic exercises is concentrated.

The portion of Indian oceans is an exposed place to the pirates due to geological navigations and other facilities. Concurrently, the place becomes a matter of conflict and epicentre for pirates and military intrusion. As indicated by an ongoing examination of worldwide clashes by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, mostly 42% of world clashes can be related with Indian Ocean nations (Percy, 2016). Various instances of the pirating of merchandise, gold, opiates, explosives, arms and ammo and the invasion of psychological oppressors into the nation through these coasts have been accounted for throughout the years. Cross fringe fear based oppression has taken a completely new measurement. The Indian security foundation is on high aware of handle the most up to date wilderness of fear of Maritime Terrorism (Schöttli, 2016). The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Working Group has characterized sea fear mongering as:"the undertaking of psychological militant acts and exercises inside the oceanic condition, utilizing or against vessels or settled stages adrift or in port, or against any of their travellers or staff, against beach front (Winner, Schneider & Weldemichael, 2017).       

Conclusion:

To conclude, it can be stated that the concept of maritime piracy is a grave offence towards the humanity and it is important to curb the activities with an intention to tighten the global commercial relation. Certain international steps have been made in this case and certain conventions have been conducted to maintain peace and security in these blacklisted regions. Security cooperation has been made globally to strengthen the coastal precautions. The military interference and pacts among the governments have resolved the matter to certain extent. Combined task force 150 has been made in the year 2013 to deal with the naval problems. However, not all those efforts are enough unless the government of those affected areas could not make strong steps with an intention to eradicate the curse of maritime piracy. Considering the context of various reports, it can be clarified that poverty and weak economy are the main reason for piracy. Therefore, the governments should take proper steps to this effect. Further, the security services should be stronger in the vulnerable areas.

Reference:

Acharya, A., Harding, R., & Harris, J. A. (2017). Security in the Absence of a State: Traditional Authority, Livestock Trading, and Maritime Piracy in Northern Somalia. Unpublished paper, Stanford University, https://repec. graduateinstitute. ch/pdfs/ciesrp/CIES_RP_56. pdf (Accessed: 5 June 2018).

Bueger, C. (2015). Learning from piracy: future challenges of maritime security governance. Global affairs, 1(1), 33-42.

Dabrowski, J. J., & De Villiers, J. P. (2015). Maritime piracy situation modelling with dynamic Bayesian networks. Information fusion, 23, 116-130.

Erickson, A. S., & Strange, A. M. (Eds.). (2016). Six Years at Sea... and Counting: Gulf of Aden Anti-piracy and China's Maritime Commons Presence. Brookings Institution Press.

Gaibulloev, K., & Sandler, T. (2016). Decentralization, institutions, and maritime piracy. Public Choice, 169(3-4), 357-374.

Gikonyo, C. (2018). Rationalising the use of the anti-money laundering regime in tackling Somalia's piracy for ransoms. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 52, 155-164.

Marchione, E., & Wilson, A. (2016). Spatial Interaction as Threat: Modelling Maritime Piracy. Global dynamics: Approaches from complexity science, 187-194.

Percy, S. (2016). Counter-piracy in the Indian Ocean: A new form of military cooperation. Journal of global security studies, 1(4), 270-284.

Piracy Incident Reports. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Security/PiracyArmedRobbery/Reports/Pages/Default.aspx

Piracy Incident Reports. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Security/PiracyArmedRobbery/Reports/Pages/Default.aspx

Schöttli, J. (Ed.). (2016). Power, Politics and Maritime Governance in the Indian Ocean. Routledge.

Weldemichael, A. T., Schneider, P., & Winner, A. (Eds.). (2017). Maritime Terrorism and Piracy in the Indian Ocean Region. Routledge.

Winner, A. C., Schneider, P., & Weldemichael, A. T. (2017). Introduction: Maritime terrorism and piracy in the Indian Ocean Region. In Maritime Terrorism and Piracy in the Indian Ocean Region (pp. 13-15). Routledge.

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