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Is Sea Piracy a Mask for Rogue Security & Lawlessness at Sea?

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A New York Times article 'Murder At Sea: Captured On Video, But Killers Go Free' by Ian Urbina, discloses a graphic video of four unarmed men being gunned down in the water. Despite dozens of witnesses, the killings went unreported and remain a mystery.

Readers comments in the article positively reflect the passionate journalism and dedication to bring  this to the public domain.

K.Brian McConaghy from Canada says "Hats off to Ian Urbina for undertaking this difficult research. And to the NY Times for the willingness to pursue such a time consuming and thus expensive endeavor."

Memph from Brooklyn says, "...remarkable, important reporting."

Solarglide have kindly been given permission to publish an excerpt from the article with a link to the full story. Although the full article contains graphic images, we highly recommended this article should be read.

Please click here to read the article in its entirety.

The oceans, plied by more ships than ever before, are also more armed and dangerous than any time since World War II, naval historians say. Thousands of seamen every year are victims of violence, with hundreds killed, according to maritime security officials, insurers and naval researchers.

Last year in three regions alone — the western Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa — more than 5,200 seafarers were attacked by pirates and robbers and more than 500 were taken hostage, a database built by The New York Times shows.

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Weapons, tactical gear and body armor were stored in a container on the Resolution. Credit Ben C. Solomon/The New York Times

Many merchant vessels hired private security starting in 2008 as pirates began operating across larger expanses of the ocean, outstripping governments’ policing capacities. Guns and guards at sea are now so ubiquitous that a niche industry of floating armories has emerged. The vessels — part storage depot, part bunkhouse — are positioned in high-risk areas of international waters and house hundreds of assault rifles, small arms and ammunition. Guards on board wait, sometimes for months in decrepit conditions, for their next deployment.

Though pirate attacks on large container ships, like that depicted in the film “Captain Phillips,” have dropped sharply over the past several years, other forms of violence remain pervasive.

Armed gangs run protection rackets requiring ship captains to pay for safe passage in the Bay of Bengal near Bangladesh. Nigerian marine police officers routinely work in concert with fuel thieves, according to maritime insurance investigators. Off the coast of Somalia, United Nations officials say, some pirates who used to target bigger ships have transitioned into “security” work on board foreign and local fishing vessels, fending off armed attacks, but also firing on rivals to scare them away.

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An employee inspected a rifle aboard the Resolution, a floating armory that anchored in the Gulf of Oman. Credit Ben C. Solomon/The New York Times

Provocations are common. Countries are racing one another to map and lay claim to untapped oil, gas or other mineral resources deep in the ocean, sparking clashes and boat burnings. From the Mediterranean to offshore Australia to the Black Sea, human traffickers carrying refugees and migrants sometimes ram competitors’ boats or deliberately sink their own ships to get rid of their illicit passengers or force a rescue.

Violence among fishing boats is widespread and getting worse. Heavily subsidized Chinese and Taiwanese vessels are aggressively expanding their reach, said Graham Southwick, the president of the Fiji Tuna Boat Owners Association. Radar advancements and the increased use of so-called fish-aggregating devices — floating objects that attract schools of fish — have heightened tensions as fishermen are more prone to crowd the same spots. “Catches shrink, tempers fray, fighting starts,” Mr. Southwick said. “Murder on these boats is relatively common.”

Readers comments in the article positively reflect the passionate journalism and dedication to bring  this to the public domain.

K.Brian McConaghy from Canada says "Hats off to Ian Urbina for undertaking this difficult research. And to the NY Times for the willingness to pursue such a time consuming and thus expensive endeavor."

Memph from Brooklyn says "...remarkable, important reporting."

Solarglide have kindly been given permission to publish an excerpt from the article with a link to the full story. Although the full article contains graphic images, we highly recommended this article should be read

- See more at: http://www.solarglide.com/blog/is-sea-piracy-a-mask-for-rogue-security--lawlessness-at-sea#sthash.hqJgbLh0.dpuf

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