Piracy occurs off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden, the Guardafui Channel, and the Somali Sea, as well as in Somali territorial waters and other nearby locations. It began as a threat to international fishing vessels, but during the Somali Civil War’s consolidation of states phase about 2000, it has expanded to include international shipping.

International fishing vessels began conducting illegal fishing in Somali territorial waters after the Somali government fell and the Somali Navy dispersed. Local fish sources were decimated as a result, and Somali fishing villages formed armed groups to fend off the intruders. Using small boats, these groups would sometimes kidnap ships and crews for ransom. With huge ransom payments, this turned into a lucrative trade. After that, the pirates proceeded to kidnap commercial ships.

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When Somali pirates attempted to seize a cargo ship in 2012, security guards onboard were alerted and began firing rounds to keep the pirates from approaching the ship. Hundreds of shots were fired by security officers at the pirate boat, which eventually retreated. This incident happened in the Indian Ocean.

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Video courtesy: Humans At Sea

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