Freakonomics of Maritime Piracy

Kraska, James
May 2010
Brown Journal of World Affairs;Spring/Summer2010, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p109
Academic Journal
The article examines the freakonomics of maritime piracy off the Horn of Africa, a trade route connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and western Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal. Maritime piracy attacks began in late 2005 with the interception of the luxury cruise ship Seaborn Spirit by two high-speed pirate skiffs. Piracy grew between 2007 and 2008 with the Gulf of Aden as the epicenter. Seaside towns in the region of Puntland, Somalia gave rise to a maritime piracy culture after the Darood clan's creation of an autonomous administration. Armed sea-going gangs operate off the beaches hijacking vessels, followed by ransom negotiations and release of the vessel. Ransom money eventually goes to the stream of commerce of clan society and into the surrounding nations.


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