george and all :
a consultant to shipping companies gave a 1/2 hour interview on CBC-TV yesterday - quite unusual since usually those subjects don't attract more than a few minutes .
he stated that the problem had been coming for some time , but had been ignored despite advice given to various governments and shipping companies .
it's unfortunate that it is peaking at the same time as the economic crisis around much of the world .
- somali fishermen had complained for many years about foreign trawlers and motherships sucking up any-and-all fish off the coast of somalia ,
but the problem was simply ignored .
-shipping companies were flush with money until the economic crisis hit .
now there are too many ships chasing after reduced cargo loads .
shipping companies are offering cheap shipping rates just to stay in business
-(the same has happenend in the cruiseline business . rates are down substantially from two/three years ago - and more ships are coming online right now - likely depressing the revenues even further) .
-shipping companies are loathe to hire security guards because of increased costs and possible legal implications .
-shipping companies are also concerned that pirates will start to fire an RPG at a ship giving them trouble .
one hit by an RPG will likely sink any of the "rust-buckets" that pass for freighters and tankers nowadays .
paying ransom is much cheaper than loosing the crew , cargo and ship.
-insurance rates would skyrocket even more if just one ship wold be sunk by pirate action - diminishing shipping revenues even more .
see : http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2009/04/13/piracy-shipping-cost.html
Shippers face higher insurance costs as pirates plague Gulf of Aden
Last Updated: Monday, April 13, 2009
Shipping oil across the Gulf of Aden? Don't forget your piracy insurance.
As a ragtag group of gunmen faced off against the U.S. navy near Somalia before a cargo ship captain was freed Sunday, industry-watchers said shipping companies have to pay steeper premiums to cover multimillion-dollar ransoms " or take the long way around African continent in the hope of dodging hijackers.
"The pirates were the only people who had a good year in 2008," said Crispian Cuss, a security consultant with the Dubai-based Olive Group.
The Gulf of Aden, which connects the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, is one of the busiest and most dangerous waterways in the world.
As pirates have become more aggressive, the cost of insuring ships has gone up. Some companies are spending more time training their crews, while others are avoiding the area altogether by taking long, costly trips around the Africa's southern tip.
While the coast of Somalia has been a problem for years, it was flagged in May as an area of particular concern by Lloyd's Market Association, and premiums have been rising " at least tenfold, according to some media reports.
from george's post : Perhaps you should give this interesting idea to "the shipping companies". It might be worthwhile to take a look at a globe and estimate the differential distance involved for a trip (say) from the Persian Gulf to Montreal.
-you are right , george !
as the consultant said , the shipping companies are already suffering from much reduced revenues - and any additional costs might put some of them out of business .
-since the area being accessible to the pirates is ever increasing as they get better equipped (just wondering who benefits from suppluing them with ocean-going power boats ??? someone likely making a good profit from it ) ,
controlling the area with navy vessels and aircraft becomes ever more difficult .
-the maritime nations of the world were unwilling to listen to the somalis when they asked for help . so now they are paying many times the price it would have cost to control those foreign trawlers sucking up the fish .
my own comments - some of it repeated :
-overfishing by foreign trawlers is nothing new . iceland and canada used their coastguard and navy vessels to chase , board and bring those trawlers into their ports to face justice .
the somalis had/have no navy to enforce the laws (it would be too late anyway - most of the fish have been sucked up - literally ) .
-foreign fishing boats (mainly from china-korea-taiwan-russia , but also other countries) literally suck up the fish in the north-atlantic and the pacific just outside the territorial boundaries .
-THE ECONOMIST -december 2008 : PLENTY OF FISH ?
One lesson here is that no species should be fished to the point where the ecosystem is unbalanced. That conclusion hardly requires the fish-fed brain of Jeeves. Another is that, to maintain a balance, big “apex” fish may be as important as small. Many fish take years before they are mature enough to spawn: cod, three or four, sturgeon 20, orange roughy 32. And they may be long-lived: cod can survive to 30, if they are lucky, and sturgeon to 100. Kill the fish at the top and you may get an explosion of smaller ones below, gobbling up much more food than would be eaten by a few big fish of the same total weight. And big fish provide more and better-quality fry. Take the big and leave the young, a common principle of fisheries managers eager to rebuild stocks, may therefore be a mistake. If so, it is not their only one.
-many frozen fish sold in american and canadian supermarkets are labelled "packed in china" .
here is what happens :
trawlers off the coast of california , british-columbia and alaska catch the fish (some of them are even american and canadian trawlers) .
the fish transferred to mother-ships for processing . mother-ships sail to china where the fish are packaged and some are re-shipped across the pacific to the U.S. and canada - at least we get to eat or own fish.
-a detailed report on OVERFISHING by UC-DAVIS
-fish being VACUUMED in the pacific
what the REAL solution to the somali/pirate problem is , i don't know .
that's something the politicians of the world and scientists are being paid for to arrive at a solution the world can live with .
GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY is not a long-term solution imo .