A few days ago, Somali pirates hijacked a Ukrainian ship off the coast of Kenya. It seemed to be pirate business at usual, until they realized that they were in command of a ship carrying about US $30 million worth of weapons. The cargo ship was headed for Kenya and is carrying everything from rocket launchers to soviet tanks (about 13 of them.) They're still off the coast of Kenya, surrounded by US warships and the Russian navy isn't far behind. I don't know about you but just rereading that sentence scared me enough to give me chills.
A spokesperson for the pirates (yes, they have a spokesperson) claims they had no idea the ship was carrying weapons when they boarded it on the high seas. He's claiming they are misunderstood and that they are in the pirate game "to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters." It turns out piracy became a popular career among Somali fishermen following the collapse of the Somali government in 1991. Somalia's waters were left full of tuna but with no authorities to protect them. International commercial fishing vessels began flooding the waters and the Somali fishermen took to the waters and started demanding payment for the stolen fish.
The pirate industry from Somalia seems to have strayed pretty far away from collecting money for stolen tuna. However, I can't help but wonder what would have happened if these fishermen had never taken to the ocean to protect their tuna stocks in the first place. Would pirates from Somalia, 20 hostages and 30 million dollars worth of weapons still be in a stand off with American warships off the coast of Kenya? Maybe, but I'm still thinking about how this all started with the stolen fish.