Somali pirates VS cargo ship's security guards

I subscribe to the Humans at Sea YouTube channel because it often has interesting videos like this one about a cargo ship's security team firing on Somali pirates trying to board.

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  1. Because they can't make a living as fishermen anymore :grey_question:

  2. Is it a long jump from farmer to bandit? You get to be called a revolutionary hero if your side wins.

    I don't condone the piracy by any means, but desperate people do desperate things :frowning2:

  3. Some of those pirates have RPGs. The twin Bofors on my father's old boat would have had the range but not the ability to depress if the pirates got through. Standard practice in those days, though, if a small boat came too close and ignored orders to move away, was to hurl a depth charge at it. Basically if you saw a fishing boat with a mysterious hump in the stern, and the crew suddenly rushed towards it, it was the Japanese and they were about to get their artillery going. You did not give them the chance.

    The fishing industry didn't just tank; large fishing boats (including from the EU) came and removed all the fish. Basically the same strategy as Uber.

  4. Yeah - whilst the fishing thing was certainly one of the reasons for start of piracy in Somalia, the other is that they can make loads and loads of money, and Somalia has plenty of weapons, and, thanks to decades of civil war, high unemployment. Even if there was loads and loads of fish there, there is no way fishing would be remotely as lucrative (between $30-75k per pirate for a successful job, according to the Economist, in a country where the average GDP per capita is $600). Piracy is financed by middle-men, often in countries elsewhere in the region, who take much of the take. This is big business for these guys- not subsistence fishermen trying to avoid starvation.

  5. Okay.

    The piracy thing didn't start happening until after the central government in Somalia collapsed.

    They had a rather large supply of young men with guns who were accustomed to fighting for one warlord or another.

    The warlords saw an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills possessed by the fishermen for profit, which they split equally with the fishermen, who could now feed their families again.

    I'm trying to figure out what else the fishermen could have done.

    Move inland and take up farming? Gotta buy or rent land, wrong skillset, fishing boats make lousy tractors.

    Go back to school and get a STEM degree? And get a job in Somalia's thriving high tech sector? (I'm sorry, that's kind of snarky)

    Become a refugee? Be welcomed in the USA? Saudi Arabia? Southern Europe?

    Walk to Djibouti, Ethiopia, or Kenya? And eat what?

    Watch their families starve?

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