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Piracy is the act of robbery, hijack, or violent aggression by those without state endorsement, occurring between vessels on the sea (or against coastal communities from the sea in the case of plundering). Those engaged in piracy are known as pirates, and should be distinguished from those who have the endorsement of a nation state (known as privateers).

Pirates are an international scourge to shipping, with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) officially recognizing the problem of piracy and mandating its signatories to "...cooperate to the fullest possible extent in the repression of piracy on the high seas or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any State." (Part 7, Article 100 [1]).


Modern Piracy

  • Horn of Africa (e.g., Gulf of Aden, Somalian coast)
  • Straights of Malacca
  • North Africa
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Indian Ocean
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