Maritime Piracy: Reasons, Dangers and Solutions

This testimony discusses maritime piracy, and notes that it is economically driven. The pirates' main goal is profit, and the ships owners would like to keep their operating costs as low as possible. Between 2003 and 2008, there were 1,845 attempted or actual piracy acts. The bulk of the attacks occur around the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden. Two underlying factors are important enablers of piracy: the huge volume of cargo that is shipped by sea, and the need for ships to traverse through congested maritime bottlenecks. In addition the use of skeletons crews as cost cutting measures makes piracy more likely. Security monitoring of waters has decreased due to the pressure to provide security on land. An increase in small arms, globally, has made it easier for pirates to be armed for their attacks. Ship owners are willing to pay ransom demands, and this provides incentives for pirate attacks. All these factors merge to provide a fertile ground for pirate attacks. Areas for further research are discussed, in order to help combat this maritime threat.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    RAND Corporation

    1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138
    Santa Monica, CA  United States  90407-2138

    United States House of Representatives

    Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    Washington, DC  United States  20515
  • Authors:
    • Chalk, Peter
  • Publication Date: 2009-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Testimony
  • Pagination: 9p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01208107
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CT-317
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 19 2010 12:40PM